Return of the Brasidas

It was many moons ago,back in May last year,that the final specimens of my Brasidas foveolatus foveolatus culture passed away. From the ova left behind (incubated in dry coir, which resulted in a relatively low hatching rate), ten specimens were raised, four of which I gave away at the last PSG (Phasmid Study Group) meeting in January. out of the six individuals I kept (three males and three females), four are mature specimens (three males and one female) and two are subadult specimens (two females) .

Today, I managed to observe the first instance of mating in this generation. Here are some pictures:

The mating pair (pardon the low quality):img_6751

The spermatophore:

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Family picture!:

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Adult female compared to subadult female:

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Adult female:

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Adult male:

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To conclude, this is very easy species to raise, not requiring much in terms of humidity and it begins feeding very easily as a freshly-hatched nymph when offered bramble, however the ova have to be kept in slightly-damp coir/coconut fibre and a form of substrate such as coconut fibre or sand should be offered for the females to lay the ova in.

For my next post, I should hopefully update the progress of my Parectatosoma cf. hystrix culture and perhaps some of my new acquisitions from the last PSG meeting.

 

 

A Madagascan Wonder

One of the recent species that I’ve hatched and that I’m simply elated to raise is Parectatosoma cf. hystrix “Moramanga”. This is a beautiful species that matures to be predominantly black, with white speckles, with red budwings and with spines all over, making this species a true marvel; one that I have certainly eyed ever since I started keeping phasmids.

And now that I am raising this species, i feel ecstatic. I received 50 ova back in August courtesy of Carim Nahaboo (who illustrates this species and many other beautiful invertebrate species, be sure to take a look at his website at http://www.carimnahaboo.com). At this moment in time I currently have eight nymphs, split between the first instar and the second instar.

Here are a few pictures:

First instar nymph and a second instar nymph:

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Adult pair (photography by Carim Nahaboo):

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This has always been a species that I’ve wanted to raise, so I hope to succeed in raising these beauties to adulthood.

Be sure to look out for my next post, which will finally be on my second generation of Brasidas foveolatus foveolatus; it is about time this species gets an update!!

Orthomeria Bonanza

Quite a while ago now, all of my Orthomeria kangi matured. Here is a picture of an adult pair:

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This species is certainly very pretty, with the red of the wing covers contrasting beautifully with the jet-black body of the insect. Members of my family have nicknamed this species ‘ant stick insects’, due to the resemblance of this species to ants.

Unfortunately, only three adult males remain alive at this point in time. I have found this species to be pretty short-lived once adult, which is a shame. Thankfully, I have collected many ova and I am spending every waking hour watching these eggs to see if they hatch awaiting the hatching of these ova.

To summarize, this is a very pretty, albeit small, species that is very quick and rather short-lived. This species also has a rather strong defensive spray that is discharged rather eagerly.

However, this would be a pretty bad ‘bonanza’ if I only had one Orthomeria species. So, here is a picture of my first Orthomeria sp “Kubah” nymph, which hatched today:

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I ordered this species around September time from Bruno Kneubuhler (if you are after unique/ unusual/ rare species, I would definitely look at what he has on offer) along with two other species (which shall be revealed once they hatch), so it hatched fairly quickly. From what I have seen, this species appears to be even faster than my O.kangi, which I wouldnt have thought of before as possible!

Whilst this species looks almost identical to my O.kangi in the first instar, they are pretty different in appearance and from what I have read, size, with the O. “Kubah” being the larger species. Here is a picture of an adult pair from Bruno’s caresheet:

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This is a beautiful species and I am really looking forward to raising it; more posts will be posted on this specie as more hatch and the nymphs grow.

Whilst these nymphs develop and eggs hatch, be sure to keep an eye out for next week’s post(s) which will be on the new generation of Brasidas foveolatus foveolatus and quite possibly, a new species for me that is Parectatosoma cf. hystrix “Moramanga”; hope you all ‘stick around’ to read it:).

 

 

A blue-legged curiosity

This is a species I got at the last PSG meeting in July in the form of young nymphs. It is called Marmessoidea sp “Cat Tien” from Cat Tien National Park in Vietnam. Very recently, I have had my first adult male mature; here is a picture:

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This species is rather pretty, with mature specimens displaying blue-black striped legs and a yellow ventral stripe on the underside. This species also possesses a chemical deterrent that isn’t strong as the chemical deterrents for some of my other species (such as Pseudophasma fulvum and Orthomeria kangi, on which you can expect updates in the next post) that is discharged from the underside as opposed to on the top as with my other species. The males and the females are rather similar in this species, with the difference being size.

To summarise, I have found this a very easy species to raise, with no fatalities occurring in my culture. I have found that this species does well in a less humid environment than I keep many of my other species in; I look forward to the first adult female and the first pairing from this species.

Periphetes graniferum

Many things have occurred since my last post many months ago. Today, however, I can very happily report that my Periphetes graniferum has its first adult pair; Here are some pictures:

Female:

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Male:

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I have found this species very interesting to raise and found that it has some very interesting features and behaviours.

For instance, the adult male takes on his final colours in the subadult instar, whilst in many other species that I raise where males undergo a significant colour change when reaching adulthood (such as Oreophoetes peruana, Lopaphus sp “Cuc Phuong” and Marmessoidea sp “Cat Tien” (on which I will report on in a later post)).

In addition to this, the males swing their abdomens up and down whilst walking, which I’m still trying to figure out the reason behind; the females do not display this behaviour.

In addition, adults and larger nymphs in particular will jump/ roll when disturbed very frantically, which is quite a spectacle to watch.

Due to my long hiatus rom posting, there are a lot of update to be made; I will hopefully be posting very regular updates ova the next week and the weeks following.

Phasmid Study Group Meeting

On the 9th of July, I had the pleasure of attending my second Phasmid Study Group meeting. It was a very good day, that saw some fantastic talks and the addition of five new species to my ranks.

The meeting was held at the Natural History Measure, in the Flett Theatre. The meeting began with a welcome and a short, albeit humorous, talk by Paul Brock on a recent trip to Australia that he partook in. The talk acted as an introduction to Beth Ripper, who gave a talk about her expedition to Australia, the research that she conducted over there, the photography of phasmids there by her and her look into the conservation of the Lord Howe Island stick insect; the talk was very informative and was a pleasure to listen to.

After a short break, Dr. Francis Seow-Choen gave a talk about his new book on the phasmids of Borneo, some of the species described in the book and the taxonomy of phasmids in Borneo and the species found there; the talk was rather interesting and many magnificent species of phasmid were mentioned.

Afterwards, we had the pleasure of listening to Joachim Bresseel talk about his expedition to Ba Vi National Park in Vietnam. On the expedition, many new phasmids were discovered, some of which now are fortunately in culture.

The final talk was given by Thies Buscher on using biomimetics with insects, in particular sticky pads found on the feet of phasmids, the variety of sticky pad structures and his research into the correlation between sticky pad structures and egg-laying methods; the talk was very fascinating.

Finally, came the livestock exchange; many great species were up for grabs. I brought home five new species, which will be detailed in my next post, which will hopefully be written more quickly than this post was.

To sum up, this meeting was a great one and I certainly look forward to the next meeting.

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Hatching Season

The past few weeks have been very good for ova hatching. Here are a few updates on recent hatches:

Periphetes graniferum

No more of this species has hatched as of yet, however I am very happy to report that the nymph has successfully started feeding on bramble leaf, which I believe has been helped by my mixing of apple and bramble to encourage the nymph to start eating; the effectiveness of this method will hopefully be further proved when more Periphetes graniferum and Lopaphus sp “Cuc Phuong” hatch.

This nymph has also successfully moulted and is now in the 2nd instar.

Here is a picture below:

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Lopaphus sp “Cuc Phuong”

I am very happy to report that the second generation of this species has now hatched for me. Around 20 have hatched thus far and all are being trained to feed on bramble through being fed a mixture of apple and bramble leaf blended together; progress on how many begin feeding on bramble leaf afterwards and the success of this method will be commented on in later posts.

Here are a few pictures of the nymphs:

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Orthomeria kangi “Benguet”

I received ova of this species a while back and I am now very happy to report that around 15 or so have hatched thus far and a couple have now reached the second instar. No individuals have had problems with feeding and will happily consume firethorn and nettle.

Here are a few pictures of this species:

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A New Species

A while ago I reported the arrival of three new species. Now I am very happy to report that one of the ova from one of my new species, Periphetes graniferum “Samar”, has hatched.

Here are a few pictures of the nymph:

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From my research prior to obtaining this species, I came across a startling piece of information: around 50% of the nymphs will not accept bramble as a food plant and will therefore perish. So I decided to adapt a trick that I used to get some of my Lopaphus sp”Cuc Phuong” eating, where I placed a small slice of apple that they will readily consume to encourage them to begin eating and to give them nutrients that would prolong the amount of time they can survive without a proper food plant (apple does not provide the whole nutrition required for survival.

This time, I decide to ‘blend’ together bramble and apple, which is more nutiritous than just apple. The nymph has eaten some of this and I have noticed droppings, indicating that the nymph is now eating. The colouration of the nymph seems to have taken a more green tone and I think I can see evidence on the bramble leaf in the enclosure that the nymph is eating. I shall wait for more nymphs to hatch and see how they take o this method, hopefully none or very few dying from refusal to eat.

The Flying Horde

Since my last post about the Pseudophasma fulrum nymphs, many of the nymph have undergone ecydesis (moulting) and are now well into the second instar, with some now not being far off the third instar. I estimate that there are around 20 or so nymphs present now after quite a few more hatches since the last post.

Here are a few pictures of the nymphs, with a nymph in the second instar on the left and a nymph on the right in the first instar.

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All of these nymphs are doing very well with no un-successful moults or issues. I suspect that I’ll have more hatching over the coming weeks, so most of these nymphs will probably be taken with me to the Phasmid Study Group meeting on the 9th of July to distribute to other members; I will write an extended blog post covering the meeting after the meeting.

New Arrivals

I have recently received three new sets of ova that I am currently trying to hatch. they are as follows:

Orthomeria kangi

This is a very interesting species from the Benquet area of the Phillipines. The adults are winged, and are a mixture of mainly black and red; the wings are clear and the feamles measure 50mm and the males 40mm, making this a very small species.

(the picture of the adult specimens is not mine)

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Periphetes graniferum

Another Phillipine species that is found on a couple of different Phillipine islands. This is a species with very colourful 7-7.5cm males that are a mixture of green, blue, orange and black. The 8-8.5cm females are a mixture of green, blue and yellow/orange.

(The picture of the adult specimens is not mine)

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Necrosciinae sp “Tam Dao”

I currently have a subadult female specimen of this species, however the other nymphs I had of this species died due to an outbreak of fungus, so i decided to order more of this species so that I can achieve a successful culture. Both the male and the female are a beautiful bright dark green, with the females possessing a rather ‘flattened’ look; this species possesses clear wings. The males measure about 7.5-8cm and the females measure about 8.5-9cm.

(The picture of the adult specimens is not mine)

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