Spinohirasea bengalensis "Bach Ma"
(by Bruno Kneubuehler)
 

OrderPhasmatodea
 
SuborderVerophasmatodea 
InfraorderAnareolatae 
FamilyPhasmatidaeGray, 1835
SubfamilyLonchodinaeBrunner v. Wattenwyl, 1993
TribeNeohiraseiniHennemann & Conle, 2008
GenusSpinohiraseaZompro, 2002
SpeciesSpinohirasea bengalensis
(Brunner v. Wattenwyl, 1907)

  
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General Notes

  • Brunner v. Wattenwyl described this species as Menexenus bengalensis in 1907
  • the genus Spinohiraea has been set up by Zompro in 2002, and contains (2013) one valid species
  • synonyms: Neohirasea bengalensis Hausleithner, 1992; Spinohiraea crassithorax Zompro, 2002; Spiniphasma crassithorax Otte & Brock, 2005
  • different captive-bred cultures of Spinohiraea bengalensis (2013):
    • 1) a culture of Spinohiraea bengalensis, which has been found by Sergei Ryabov (Russia) in the Phong Nha Ke Bang NP (Quang Bing Province, Vietnam) in July 2003, is being bred by different phasmid keepers in Europe. Usually this culture is distributed without any further notice about the origin
    • 2) the herewith presented culture Spinohiraea bengalensis „Bach Ma“
  • these cultures originate from localities which are about 100 km apart from each other, therefore they should be kept seperat

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Culture History

  • 2012 - first successful culture by Kristien Rabaey
  • 2012 – distributed to other breeders as Spinohiraea bengalensis „Bach Ma“

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Origin

  • Joachim Bresseel (Belgium) and Jérôme Constant (RBINS) found this species in July 2011 in Bach Ma (Vietnam) (No. 17, Spinohirasea bengalensis, Vietnam, 2011)

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Females

  • colorful, bulky and very spiny phasmids
  • about 6.5 cm long
  • upper body side moss-like green, with light and dark patterning
  • lower thorax side reddish-brown with light dots
  • lower abdominal side greenish-brown
  • antennae longer than forelegs, with a whitish area close to the tip
  • a reddish-brown stripe laterally, alongside the thorax and the first abdominal segment
  • numberous strong and long spines on the thorax
  • few and small spines on the abdomen
  • brown eyes
  • subgenital plate shorter than the abdominal ending
  • praeopercular organ (the structure at the ventral end of the 7th abdominal segment, which serves as an anchorage for the male during mating) is very well developed

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Males

  • colorful and spiky creatures too
  • just more slender than the females
  • coloration and spination like in females

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Nymphs

  • about 14 mm long (L1)
  • dark brown
  • antennae about as long as forelegs, with white area close to the tip
  • by L2 it is quite easy to draw a distinction between ♀♂ (by the naked eye)

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Eggs

  • different sizes - about 2 x 2 mm to 3 x 3 mm
  • dark brown
  • almost globated
  • surface structured
  • matt
  • no distinct capitulum present on the operculum (lid)
  • micropylar plate small and hardly visible

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Food Plants

  • bramble (Rubus spp.) - is very well accepted by freshly hatched nymphs, older nymphs and adults
  • cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus) - is very well accepted by older nymphs and adults (not tested with freshly hatched nymphs)
  • ivy (Hedera helix) - is very well accepted by older nymphs and adults (not tested with freshly hatched nymphs)

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Behaviour

  • nymphs as well as adults are passive during the day and are out and about feeding at night
  • nymphs and adults try to drop to the ground or crawl away when they feel threatened (like when they are touched)
  • a defensive spray has not been observed
  • matings are frequent, and males can stay with the same female for some time
  • eggs are just dropped to the ground by the females

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Developement

  • incubation time (HH-incubation on slightly damp sand at 20 - 23 °C) is about 5 months
  • spread some dried  (!) moss over the eggs - this will make it much easier for the nymphs to hatch unscathed and it also reduces mould growth to some extend
  • hatching ratio was very high (> 50%)
  • males will be adult after about 2.5 months (at 20 – 23°C), females after about 3 months
  • females start laying eggs after about 3 – 4 weeks
  • about 35 – 45 eggs per female and week
  • adults can live for several months

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Breeding Notes

  • my general notes on how to breed phasmids are an integral part of this care sheet ...
  • it is very easy to breed this species
  • it is recommend to keep the nymphs seperate from the adults, which makes it much easier to monitor their developement and they are protected from being disturbed or even harmed by the much bigger adults (like during their moults)
  • keep the nymphs in a cage with good ventilation, but take care that the humidity does not drop too low
  • a constantly wet paper towel on the floor of the cage helps raising humidity
  • a humidity level of about 70+ % rH (for adults) and 80+ %  rH (for nymphs) seems to be fine
  • nymphs can be kept in a Faunabox (or similar cages like Faunarium)
  • move nymphs to a bigger cage as they grow bigger
  • a cage of at least 30 x 30 x 30 cm should be provided for 3 – 4 adult couples of this species
  • generally I advise to keep different phasmid species seperately (unfortunately, overcrowed cages are still too common ...)
  • I have never sprayed nymphs, adults or their cage with water
  • make sure that nymphs, which are about to undergo their adult moult, do not find places in the cage which would not offer them enough space beneath to moult successfully

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References



 

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direct link to category: bengalensis (Bach Ma)