Phasmid Care Sheet

(c) Copyright Phasmid Study Group


PSG 9 Extatosoma tiaratum

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Foodplants This species will usually eat: Bramble, Eucalyptus, Hawthorn, Oak, Pyracantha, Raspberry, Rose
Cage Requirements
  • Cage should be at least 27 cm tall
  • Room temperature
Reproduction In this species, both males and females exist and they reproduce sexually, by mating, where the male transfers sperm to the female, which she uses to fertilise her eggs (ova).
Ova This species like to catapult or fling their ova (eggs) so you may hear some hitting the cage sides, but most will end up on the floor eventually. Its best to provide paper at the bottom of the cage to help collect the ova for removal for incubation or population control.
Ova Incubation Period 8 months
Ova Success Rate 40-50%
Months to Maturity
Lifespan 10-11 months
Notes Species is not a true leaf insect. Excessive heat will cause weak growth, smaller females, and smaller misshaped ova. When no males are available un-mated females produce ova parthenogenetically. In their habitat the ova fall to the ground where they are collected by ants and taken into their nests. The ants eat a part of the ovum called the "capitulum" then discard the ova in their garbage room where they, protected from predators, eventually hatch. At the first instar, L1, stage they are Leptomyrmex ant mimics. Adults can spray a colourless defensive chemical which deters predators, this rarely happens with captive animals that are used to handling. The spray smells good (like toffee) to most people and is harmless. You will end up with far more ova than you could possibly use or give away, please freeze any unwanted ova for at least 24 hours prior to disposal.
Difficulty Rating* Quite easy
Any Warnings* Chemical defence spray

* Please note the warnings and difficulty rating are intended as an indicator only. The warnings are not an exhaustive list and other potentially dangerous behaviour may be exhibited by phasmids that is not listed here. Phasmids are wild creatures and should be treated with respect and handled with caution. Adults should always supervise children when handling phasmids.

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