Australian Stick Insect

Care Sheet

The scientific name for this stick is Extatosoma Tiaratum. Common names are E.T., Macleys Spectre, Giant Prickly Stick, or Australian Stick. These are a large stick insect, with an abdomen the size of a thumb, and a circumference to fill your palm. They rock when blown on, or are sprayed, and will walk on people willingly. They look like a scorpion in body shape.

Housing

You can raise Aussies in glass, screen, or plastic. We prefer screen as it allows them to climb the sides, and the top screen provides a good place to molt. We use a wide-mouth quart canning jar with water to put food cuttings in. The target temperature is 75 degrees. On the top, We use a fluorescent light fixture on a timer, as most sticks are active in either the night or day. We also have a fan blowing through the back of the cage.

 

Food

Eucalyptus is their natural food, and wild blackberries are probably the most used food in the US and England. In the summer we use oak leaves, it is a nice break from the thorns of the blackberries. Oak also may have the benefit of hardening the eggshells. Aussies will eat Salal, Primrose, raspberry, and rose, but unlike Indian Sticks, Ivy is left uneaten. Avoid the new growth blackberry leaves; they can be fatal to young Aussies, instead use the more mature dark green leaves. Some keepers feed frozen Oak leaves when other food is not available, and Romaine lettuce. Rose leaves from a florist typically have pesticides which cannot be washed off, we recommend you do not use them.

 

Water Needs

We spray the cage almost every day, which may help in molting, but they get their hydration from the leaves.

 

Reproduction

Males are rare in the US, and in the males’ absence, the female is capable of producing fertile eggs (known as ova) without a male (parthenogenesis). The eggs with a male involved take 4 months to hatch, the female-only ova take 8 months to hatch. The females are much bigger than males and are a very heavy stick insect when they are producing eggs. The ova will be flung around the cage; you will find them on horizontal cage structures. They are the size of a bee-bee, round, and dark brown to cream-colored, and shiny. The ova need to incubate no higher than 77 degrees, or they tend to have low hatch rates. Our Aussies are male fertilized.

 

Tricks​

When handling these sticks, place your hand under the front legs, and scoop the back of them with your other hand, they will crawl on you. Peeling them off of a foothold is difficult, and you might injure the Aussie; allow them to disengage their footholds and move to the next surface; they tend to climb up. Aussies are not skittish; you can have them ride on you throughout the day. They will climb about you as if you are their jungle gym!

Aussies do not need a substrate to lay ova into. For high hatch rates, collect the shiny round ova out of the bottom of the cage and place them on top of moist coco fiber. Mist the cup when the soil is almost dry. The goal is to keep it humid, but not to get mold in the coco fiber, or on the eggs. On top of the eggs, place a thin layer of moss for the hatching nymphs to grab onto. You will also have some success if you just leave them at the bottom of the cage. If you do, put Sphagnum moss to retain moisture, and spray daily. Aussies are, in my opinion, the most personable of the stick insects.

 

An interesting survival technique is that the ova are collected by ants and taken back to the underground nests. When the ova hatch they look and move fast like the ants, escaping detection as dinner, and scurry out of the nest to the trees. After their next molt, they look more like a jagged leaf, and all the speed they had disappears, and they become sloth-like.

 

Indian Stick Insect

Care Sheet

Housing

Indian Sticks can be raised in plastic containers, aquariums, jars, or our favorite, a screen cage. If you use an aquarium, screen the top as they need airflow. We spray the vegetation and Sticks daily and have fluorescent lights on the top on a 12-hour cycle with an oscillating fan.

Food

If you have wild blackberries (Brambles by name in the UK), your cuttings should last about 6 days before drying out. Wild blackberries are in the cooler part of the United States and Canada, but ivy can also be used; Ivy lasts a LOT longer than blackberry, you can grow it indoors or outdoors all year, and you don’t have the wicked thorns to deal with. They seem to eat most Ivy varieties, but the one we found they devour is Hahn’s Ivy, which is sold in garden stores.  Privet, Rose, Salal, and Oak are also food sources, and some keepers have used frozen Oak leaves and Romaine lettuce during winter months. Indians will also eat Schefflera, the Umbrella Plant, also used in decorating chameleon habitats. Roses from florists have pesticides that cannot be washed off.

 

Setting up the environment 

The challenge is to keep the food source fresh, so here is what I do. I use a quart-size canning jar to put the food cuttings into and use some of the leaves to cover the water. The key is to not have open water the sticks fall into and only put enough food in the cage, that before it gets dry, it is mostly eaten. This makes removal of the dry cuttings, and replacement of fresh cuttings much quicker; not having to remove the sticks from 3 cuttings is easier than 10 cuttings. Room temperature is perfect; I keep them with my other feeders in my Chameleon room, which is 74-76 degrees, which gives me a faster growth rate.

 

Tricks

1) All Indian adults are female; reproduction does not require males. they all drop eggs to the bottom of the cage. The eggs will hatch in about 6 months.

2) Mist daily, but they get enough moisture from the leaves, so don’t panic if you miss some days. The misting is good for the eggs at the bottom of the enclosure.

3) Escapees are going to happen, so when we are pulling out the old cuttings and putting the new ones in, we put a large white plastic bin under the opening of the cage so we can see the little buggers that seek to drop to the (brown) floor. we also shake the old cuttings into the large plastic container, which puts most of them in the container.

 

Phillium philippinicum Leaf Insect

Care Sheet

General Description

An adult female Philippinicum will measure about 4 inches long, the males are much slender and ½ the length. It is documented that Philippinicum males are required for reproduction, but it is also reported that Philippinicum may be parthenogenetic We have both males and females.

 

Housing

We raise my Philippinicum in a screen cage. We have oscillating fans in the day hours that give airflow into the cage. We have fluorescent lights on the top of the cage on a 12hour on/off cycle, as well as light through the room windows. Glass or plastic housing can be used, but I like a breeze in the cage, and small nymphs can get suctioned onto glass or plastic and die when you spray the glass/plastic enclosure. The leaf insects need enough height in the cage to be able to hang down and molt out of their old skin without hitting anything, or miss-molts will occur.

 

Food

Both nymphs and adults eat blackberry, although they can also eat oak, rose, raspberry, and Guava. We use a quart-sized wide-mouth canning jar to place the blackberry and oak cuttings in. The cuttings last about 5 days before drying out. Rose cuttings from a florist will have pesticides that cannot be washed off.

 

Hydration

We spray the cage almost every day, the leaf insects will drink from water droplets, but also receive hydration from the leaves they eat. Missing a day or 2 of spraying is not critical.

 

Ova

Eggs (ova) will be dropped throughout the screened enclosure. They are shaped like a mushroom and are slightly lighter brown than their waste. We pick the ova out and put them into insect cups with coco fiber, and place the ova on top of the coco fiber. On top of the ova, I place a thin later of sphagnum moss to assist the hatchlings with a foothold out of the ova. Ova hatch in about 5-8 months, depending on temperature.

 

Temperature

I keep ova, nymphs, and adults at a target temperature of 73 degrees.

 

Tricks

Air currents may encourage movement; in nature, it would be dangerous for a leaf insect to move when there was no wind.  There may also be a benefit to removing stagnant air. I use rotating fans behind my cages, for 12 hours during the day.

 

If they run out of food they begin to chew on each other! They also cannot be housed with Stick Insects, the Sticks will eat them even with food in the cage; mistaken identity…

 

The Philippinicum leaf insect is not “skittery,” and can be handled. With all stick and leaf insects, place your hand under the front, and nudge the back end with your other hand to allow them to climb completely onto you.

 

Fullthottlefeeders@gmail.com

Pink Wing Stick Insect

Care Sheet

The scientific name of the Pink Wing Stick insect is Sipylodea Sipylus. The Pink Wing originates in Madagascar and has been successfully been in culture for decades. The PW is often mistaken for the Indian Stick insect, and with good reason. When both species are adult, the PW tends to be only a slightly lighter brown than the Indian Stick, a bit slimmer, and the same length. As nymphs it is a different story; the PW is bright green, while the Indian Stick nymphs are light beige to brown. Some other differences are that the PW moves FAST (Maserati) when startled, the Indian Sticks are sluggish (1970 Pinto), PW adults can also fly, adult Indians can’t.

 

Housing

The PW can be housed in any container, we use a screen cage. We have an oscillating fan and a fluorescent light on a 12-hour cycle. The target temperature is 73 degrees.

 

Food

I feed the Pink Wing Sticks blackberry all year and add oak when it is available. They also eat Rose, Hawthorn, Raspberry, Salmon Berry, Rhododendron, Hazel, and Pyracantha. Some keepers use fresh Romaine and frozen Oak leaves for winter months. Rose leaves from a florist contain pesticides that cannot be washed off. They do not eat Ivy.

 

Tricks

Spray the entire cage and food cuttings one time per day, not worrying if you miss some days. Pink-wings don’t stay on the cuttings to rest, they are mostly all on the screen making it easy to collect them. The eggs (ova) are stuck to surfaces rather than just dropped into the cage. They are dark brown skinny football-shaped ova. Most of the ova are stuck to the roof and the corners of the screen sides. Check your dead cuttings for eggs…

 

When the Pink-Wing moves it is sure to get the reptiles attention; the best word to describe their movement is skittering.

 

fullthrottlefeeders@gmail.com

Diapherodes gigantea

Care Sheet

D. Gigantea is a great stick insect to culture, for many reasons. Gigantea is beautiful bright lime green, with the body being very heavy, the females measuring up to 5 inches long. They are a great choice for children as they are slow-moving. The males can fly, and the ova takes about 4 months to hatch. D. Gigantea is a sexual species; it takes males for fertilization. A common name for D. Gigantea is the “Green Bean” stick insect. D. Gigantea comes from the Caribbean Islands, and is assigned the PSG number of 260.

 

Housing

I house nymphs in smaller screen cages until they reach 3 inches long, and then I shift them into a large screen cage through adulthood. I have rotating fans on the back of my screen cages in the same cycle as my lights to offer a day/night cycle.

 

Food

My main food is Blackberry as I have it year-round. They will also eat Eucalyptus, Oak, Raspberry, and Sweet Bay (Laurus nobilis).

 

Water

Nymphs will not survive without at least 2 misting where all the foliage and cage sides are wet. Once the nymphs are 3-inches long, they can have less misting’s. Of all the stick and leaf insects I have raised, D. Gigantea are the one stick insect that will drink water every time you mist. I mist their cage morning and night every day, even if I am too busy to do the rest of my collection.

 

Tricks

I put in a larger Phasmid in the new nymph cage to eat leaves to encourage the new nymphs to eat. Once they molt 2 more times they will eat on their own.

Fullthrottlefeeders@gmail.com

Vietnamese Giant Stick Insect

Care Sheet

Ramulus artemis, commonly called the Vietnamese Giant Stick Insect is the second longest stick insect we culture. Adults are all female, with adult color being dark green, nymphs are beige to green. The Vietnamese stick insect is a good insect for children; they are docile and climb slowly on kids.

 

Food

The most common food is Blackberry, and they also eat Oak, Raspberry, Privet, and Hazel. They also eat the dark green leaves of Romaine. Place cuttings (or Romaine Leaves) in a quart jar.

 

Hydration

I spray all my sticks and leafs daily, but if you miss a spraying once or twice a week, these guys do fine.

 

Housing

Being a longer species requires you have a tall enough screen cage for molting; my cage is 28 inches high. I also provide oscillating fans, and 12-hour lighting. This species is forgiving on temperature; they will reproduce from 68-82 degrees; my target temperature is 78 degrees.

 

Reproduction

The Vietnamese Stick Insect needs no males to reproduce. The eggs, or ova are flattened spheres.

 

Tricks

Cage width and height needs to be bigger for this giant of stick insects.

 

Fullthrottlefeeders@gmail.com

Vietnamese Giant Stick Insect

Care Sheet

Ramulus Artemis, commonly called the Vietnamese Giant Stick Insect is the second-longest stick insect we culture. Adults are all female, with adult color being dark green, nymphs are beige to green. The Vietnamese stick insect is a good insect for children; they are docile and climb slowly on kids.

 

Food

The most common food is Blackberry, and they also eat Oak, Raspberry, Privet, and Hazel. They also eat the dark green leaves of Romaine. Place cuttings (or Romaine Leaves) in a quart jar, or hang them up high in the cage.

 

Hydration

I spray all my sticks and leafs daily, but if you miss spraying once or twice a week, these guys do fine.

 

Housing

Being a longer species requires you to have a tall enough screen cage for molting; my cages are 30" tall. I also provide oscillating fans and 12-hour lighting. This species is forgiving on temperature; they will reproduce from 68-82 degrees; my target temperature is 78 degrees.

 

Reproduction

The Vietnamese Stick Insect needs no males to reproduce. The eggs or ova are flattened spheres.

 

Tricks

Cage width and height need to be bigger for this giant of stick insects.

 

Fullthrottlefeeders@gmail.com

Eurycantha Calcarata Stick Insect

Care Sheet

E. Calcarata is found in NewGuinea, New Caledonia, and the Solomon Islands, in very humid rain forests. Unlike many stick insects, E. Calcarata is a ground dweller by day, hiding under bark, rocks, and leaves, and climbs the food plants at night to feed on the leaves. The females grow to 6-inches long, are slow-moving, and can be handled safely. The males grow to 5-inches long, and are armed with a formidable spike on each back leg, and are a glove-only insect.

Housing

For our breeding cage, we use screen cages, with an oscillating fan, and a fluorescent light on a 12-hour cycle.  Many suggest a substrate for the female to lay her eggs into, we do not use a substrate; the eggs are laid on the floor.

 

Food

We use blackberry all year, but they also will eat Ficus, Eucalyptus, Rose Guava, Raspberry, Hazel, and Chestnut. Blackberry cuttings last 6-7 days in water, so we replenish once per week.

 

Hydration

The E. Calcarata habitat is a very moist rainforest, so we spray morning and night, missing a day here and there.

 

Sunguya inexpectata Stick Insect

Care Sheet

Sunguya inexpectata also known as the Sunny Stick insect, originates in the Philippian island of Luzon. There are variations in color with each molt, and my culture goes from dark brown to green to beige, with beautiful white striping down the back and on the legs. Females are larger and more striking than the males. Sunguya inexpectata is parthenogenetic, needing no males to reproduce, but my colony is fertilized by males. Sunguya inexpectata get to a 3 to 4-inch length, and are handled easily.

 

Housing

We keep our colony in screen cages with a fluorescent light and an oscillating fan, and a temperature of 68 to 75 degrees. The females drop ova to the bottom of the cage, so there is no need for substrate.

 

Hydration

We spray morning and night, if you miss a spraying they will do fine.

 

Food

Sunguya inexpectata eats Ivy, Blackberry, Raspberry, Oak, Rose, Hazel and Oak. Since Ivy is a food source Sunguya inexpectata is an easy stick insect to keep if your food sources are limited year-round. We use Ivy, as it grows invasively year-round in my area.
 

Peruphasma Shultei Stick Insect (Black Beauty)

Care Sheet

Peruphasma Shultei is a beautiful stick insect originating in Northern Peru, and are popular in the Phasmid hobby. The adults are a velvety black in coloration with light yellow eyes, red tiny wings, and red mouth parts. The adult females get to 2-inches long, the males about 1-3/4-inches long. Although they can spray a defensive chemical, in normal handling we have not experienced this. Males are required for fertilization.

 

Housing

 

Room temperature is fine for the P. shultei, we use screened enclosures for our colony, about 30 inches high.

 

Food

 

Unlike many Phasmids, P. Shultei will not eat Blackberry, Oak, or Rose. In Peru the P. Shultei eat the Peruvian Pepper Tree which is commonly called the California Pepper Tree. Nurseries in the U.S. sometimes have this tree available. In the United States there are 4 fairly easily available food plants: Privet, Honeysuckle, Lilac, and Acuba Japonica.We have had success feeding them salal as well. These food plants are available at nurseries, which allows year-round food sources.

 

Hydration

 

P. schultei does not require heavy spraying for hydration. We spray all our Phasmids twice week, but missing a spraying is not critical.

Lamponius Guerini Stick Insect (Guadalupe)

Care Sheet

The Lamponius Guerini stick insect is known as the Guadalupe Stick Insect due to its proximity to Guadalupe, Mexico. Females reach 4-inches long, males are 3-inches long. The nymphs are quite small compared to the adult size, and as they molt the coloring becomes light and dark brown with patches of beige and white. The contrasting colors make this stick insect look like a stick with lichen and decaying wood, some have called it the “bird poop stick insect.”

 

Hatch


Rates are high, this is one of the high producing species I have kept.
 

Food


The Guadalupe stick insect will eat a variety of food plants including Blackberry, Raspberry, Ivy, Rose, Eucalyptus, and Pyracantha.
 

Hydration


We spray all our stick and leaf insects morning and night, but the Guadalupe stick insect does not need extra spraying to stay hydrated.

Phaenopharos Khaoyaiensis Stick Insect (Bud-Wing)

Care Sheet

The Bud-wing stick insect is a sexually reproducing stick insect originating in Thailand, but the females can produce fertile ova without a male. The females are a light beige, with a girth the thickness of a pencil. The body has tiny spikes, the wing buds have pastel colors, and the wings are crimson red. The Bud-wing stick insect is a docile stick insect, easy to handle, and doesn’t drop legs easily as some stick insects do. We began to see hatching ova after 3 months of raising this species.

 

Housing

 

We use a 30-inch high screen cage with an 18x18-inch base. Our females with the front legs extended cover 9-inches of space, so be sure your cage has enough room.

 

Food

 

We feed the Bud-wing stick insects Blackberry, they will also eat Raspberry, Hypericum, and Hawthorn.

 

Hydration 

 

The Bud-wing can do without water spraying daily, but we spray morning and night.

 

Sexual

 

Females reproduce sexually which means the male is involved in fertilization. In the absence of males, the females can also reproduce parthenogenetically, with a high hatch rate.

Full Throttle Feeders

©2017 by Full Throttle Feeders. Proudly created with Wix.com