Much has already been written about the captivity and breeding of different phasmid species. Here however, no detailed culture reports of certain species are provided, but general background information and tips which may encourage your “green thumb”.
It is remarkable, that some breeders are very successfully culturing a species with a certain technique and climate while others don’t, although the same climatic circumstances in the cage and foodplants are offered. A reason for this may be the room climate outside the cage, like the exposure to direct synlight, room temperature or the ventilation which, although being of great importance, is mostly left out of account when talking about a “correct climate” for breeding a certain species. In general, it can be observed that good ventilation in the room in which the cages are placed, is of advantage as this stimulates the insects to feed. Good ventilation can be achieved by placing a large ventilator in the room or placing a small PC-ventilator into each cage. This has proven to be of great advantage for a successful culturing of numerous species, e.g. those of the genus Phyllium.
Species which are newly imported to Europe (see PSG list) usually prove difficult to maintain within the first two generations which may be due to the different environment and circumstances offered in the breeding cage. The following generations are often easier and less sensible. Many species appear to be impossible to be cultured successfully, mainly because of breeders having so far not been able to offer the correct climatic circumstances or suitable alternative foodplant. “Cultures” of these species will mostly die out after only a few generations and show a remarkable degree of degeneration. This is generally the case with very specialized feeders and most of the well-flying species which appear to be very sensible concerning climatic variation.
If problems arise or the insects are observed to appear unhealthy, one should check if something has changed with the climate. If not, you should consider to change the climate, e.g. keeping the insects more ore less ventilated, more or less humid. Diarrhoea for example is usually a sign for a too humid climate.
As a general rule it can be said, that phasmids don’t like stress why usually less harm is caused by a slightly deficient than a too fastidious care for your insects!