Stick insect eggs of two new species are now offered for sale in our shop. If you want to learn more about their biology and about stick insects in general, you might be interested in reading the following content.
Phasmids, stick insects, are the members of the Phasmatodea order (also known as Phasmida, Phasmatoptera or Spectra). This group consists in hemimetabolous insects whose members are variously known as stick insects, stick-bugs, walking sticks, or bug sticks. They are generally referred to as phasmatodeans, phasmids, or ghost insects. Phasmids in the family Phylliidae are called leaf insects, leaf-bugs, walking leaves, or bug leaves. The group’s name is derived from the Ancient Greek φάσμα phasma, meaning an apparition or phantom, referring to their resemblance to vegetation while in fact being animals.
Many species of phasmids are parthenogenic, meaning that the females can lay eggs without needing to mate with males. The offspring from virgin mothers are entirely female and hatch into nymphs that are exact copies of their mothers (clones). Stick insect species that are the product of hybridisation are usually obligate parthenogens, but non-hybrids are facultative parthenogens, meaning they retain the ability to mate and their sexual behavior depends on the presence and abundance of males.
Stick insects are abundantly reared in captivity by amateurs, which enjoy their particular behaviors and development. They are generally easy to rear and way less demanding compared to other insect orders as Lepidoptera or Mantodea. Phasmids captive reared strains have been catalogued by the Phasmid Study Group and assigned a number. There are currently around 495 species inserted in their archive, from PSG1 to PSG495.
Phaenopharos khaoyaiensis, a nice and large stick insect from Thailand.
Phaenopharos khaoyaiensis is a stick insect species that presents small orange wings but it cannot fly. Females can reach 20cm length at. They are very easy to rear thus suitable for beginners. This is a parthenogenetic stick insect species in captivity, only females are present in this brood.
The species has the Phasmid Study Group number PSG215.
Stick insect eggs of this species hatch in 4-6 months. The ones for sale have been incubated for a couple of months and are expected to hatch in 2-4 months depending on temperature. Nymphs take 6 months and 6 molts before reaching adulthood. Adults of Phaenopharos khaoyaiensis live for other 8 months, laying eggs throughout this period.
Sipyloidea sipylus, the Madagascan stick insect eggs.
Sipyloidea sipylus, the Madagascan stick insect is a nice Phasmatodea species which is largely reared by amateur insect lovers. It is a medium size stick insect, native to Madagascar. It exhibits the sexual dimorphism, males are small and thinner. They have large wings and are able to fly, if disturbed they can fly away.
The Madagascan stick insect eggs now in stock have been incubated for a couple of months and are expected to hatch in 1-2 months depending on temperature. Sipyloidea sipylus nymphs take around 4 months to become adults and then can live up to one year.
Rearing and breeding stick insects
Phasmid are generally easy to rear in captivity. They don’t require large amounts of space and food. In addition, conversely to Lepidoptera, young nymphs behave similarly to large adults, making it simpler to handle their full life cycle. They are also more diffused as pets as they live longer in their adult stage, normally from 5 to 12 months. This long lifespan allows the breeder time to harvest eggs and start a new one while the first is still alive. This way stick insects can be reared continuously.
Stick insect eggs are incubated into plastic Petri dish, paying attention to increase the humidity by spraying often the lid with water. Young nymphs are left in small plastic boxes until they reach a reasonable size to be moved in our standard rearing cages. 40x60cm space is enough to keep about 8-20 adults depending on the species. Adults can be kept in the same cage with younger nymphs.