Tisamenus deplanata "Pocdol"
(by Bruno Kneubuehler)
 

OrderPhasmatodea
 
SuborderVerophasmatodea 
InfraorderAreolatae 
SuperfamilyBacilloideaBrunner v. Wattenwyl, 1893
Family HeteropterygidaeKirby, 1896
SubfamilyObriminaeBrunner v. Wattenwyl, 1893
TribeEubulidini Zompro, 2004
GenusTisamenus
Stål, 1875
SpeciesTisamenus deplanata(Westwood, 1848)


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General Notes

  • Etymology - Tisamenus or Tissamenus (Τισαμενός), in Greek mythology, was a son of Orestes and his cousin Hermione. De- from Latin (away from, from, off) and plana- from Latin (flat)
  • Westwood described this species in 1848 as Phasma (Pachymorpha) deplanata
  • synonyms: Acanthoderus deplanata Westwood, 1859; Tisamenus deplanatus  Stål, 1875; Hoploclonia deplanata Rehn, J.A.G. & J.W.H. Rehn, 1938
  • the male has not been known yet. So the male specimens found by Thierry Heitzmann (Philippines) are the first known specimens
  • at the moment (2013) there are 18 valid species in the genus Tisamenus
  • other Tismaenus species in culture are - Tisamenus serratorius  Stål, 1875 (PSG 314); Tisamenus sp. „Cunayan“ (Philippines); Tisamenus sp. „Quezon NP“ (Philippines)

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Culture History

  • 2011 - first successful culture by Thierry Heitzmann (Philippines)
  • 2012 – distributed to other breeders as Tisamenus deplanata „Pocdol“

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Origin

  • Thierry Heitzmann found this species the first time in October 2010 on top of Mt. Pulog (Philippines, Luzon, Sorsogon Province, Pocdol Mountains) at an altitude of 1100 masl. And then by Thierry again in November 2010 on top of Mt. Osiao ((Philippines, Luzon, Sorsogon Province, Pocdol Mountains)

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Females

  • cryptic looking phasmids – flat, knobby and small
  • about 5.5 cm long
  • brown body color with lighter and darker patterning
  • ventral thorax is light colored
  • comparatively large spines dorsally on head, thorax and abdomen
  • antennae shorter than the forelegs, often with light tips
  • cerci well visible – when looking from ventral side
  • subgenital plate slightly longer than the abdominal ending
  • area apicalis (a morphological characteristic of taxonomical value) is distinctly visible on the distal-ventral end of femur and tibia

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Males

  • as cryptic looking as the females, just more slender and smaller
  • about 3.5 – 3.8 cm long
  • fawn brown
  • some spines on the head, thorax and abdomen
  • antennae shorter than forelegs, often with a light tip
  • ventral thorax is light colored
  • apart from that, the ventral body is darker than the dorsal side
  • the hindleg's femur is thickened
  • area apicalis (a morphological characteristic of taxonomical value) is distinctly visible on the distal-ventral end of femur and tibia

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Nymphs

  • about 16 mm long (L1)
  • dark brown
  • legs with light horizontal stripes
  • antennae shorter than forelegs
  • even in L1 it is easy to draw a distinction between ♀♂ (by the naked eye)

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Eggs

  • rather big for the size of the females
  • about 4 x 3 mm
  • elongate-oval
  • matt
  • surface with setaceous (bristly) structures
  • no distinct capitulum present on the operculum (lid)
  • micropylar plate is indistinct, it is long and whalefine-like

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Food Plants

  • bramble (Rubus spp.)
    is very well accepted by freshly hatched nymphs, older nymphs and adults. But it seems that in late winter they do not like bramble leaves that much
  • Salal (Gaultheria shallon)
    is well accepted by older nymphs and adults (not tested with freshly hatched nymphs)
  • ivy (Hedera helix)
    is well accepted by nymphs and adults
  • cherry laurel (Prunus laurocerasus)
    is moderately accepted by adults (not tested with nymphs)

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Behaviour

  • nymphs as well as adult are passive during the day and are out and about feeding at night
  • nymphs and adults try to crawl away when they feel threatened (like when they are touched) – but just for a few steps, then they freeze again
  • matings are frequent, and pairs can stay together for a long time
  • if a male, who has already „occupied“ feels hasseled by another approaching male, then he tried to keep him with foot kicks at a distance
  • 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 4 – 5  months. But as the exact date when the eggs have been laid was unknown, this is just a approximate value
  • 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 in F1 was very high (> 50%)
  • males will be adult after about 5 months (at 20 – 23°C), females after about 6 – 7 months
  • females start laying eggs after about 4 – 5 weeks
  • about 5 – 8 eggs per female and month
  • 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 moderate ventilation and 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 75+ % rH (for adults and 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 20 x 20 x 20 cm should be provided for 4 – 5 adult couples
  • 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

  • Phasmida Species Files  (www.phasmida.orthoptera.org)



 

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