Stilpnochlora couloniana

Origin -
Cuba, Florida

Food -
Bramble, rose, raspberry, beech, oak, privet, Eucalyptus, Buddleja, Elephant grass (Miscanthus sp.)

Terrarium -
For 3 couples a terrarium of 50 x 25 x 30 cm will do. Since they like high humidity and high temperatures, a single ventilation strip is enough. The glass of the enclosure can be covered in droplets.

Incubation time eggs -
Usually 6 to 8 weeks, higher temperatures usually speed up this process.

Adult length -
Females are bigger and much more bulky, up to 8-8,5 cm, males are more slender and grow up to 6-6,5 cm

Experience with this species -
Beautiful large and leaf like Katydids. Females get quite fat after fertilization. Males make a nice hissing sound at night, or when disturbed when entering the enclosure. Eggs are preferably glued against a branch or stem of a foodplant. Make sure to provide them with a suitable egg laying spot. I just look for dried branches with lots of twigs and a bark that is a little bit rough in texture. Before laying, the female will nibble on the branch to make the surface more rough, so it's easier for her to glue the eggs against it. This will usually take place in the middle of the night, in complete darkness. If one likes to witness this process, you will have to stay up very late or wake up very early.

When the surface is rough enough for ovipositing, she will one by one "glue" the eggs against this branch. She makes doble or even triple, perfectly even rows, some of these rows can exist of more than 100 eggs at once. When she is done gluing them, she reinforces them by spreading some saliba over the clutch. At first, eggs are dark brown or even black, but when dry, will be white with a brown tip (brown tip is usually on the side that's glued against the branch. Eggs Always hang down from these branches. The best way to incubate the eggs, and prevent other females from laying eggs on top of other eggs, is to cut off the branch, and put it back in the same position in a piece of horticultural foam.

After 6 to 8 weeks, the eggs are bound to hatch, at least, if kept in a damp incubation container. If the container or incubation box is too dry, nymphs will get stuck during the hatching, and die. Nymphs usually hatch all at the same time, or will hatch in stages. It looks like the branch suddenly has grown thousands of moving white hairs. In fact, it's all their little legs and antennae.

Feed them soft plants in the first days after hatching, for example raspberry leaves. Unlike the adults, nymphs start eating from the middle of a leaf, and eat around the veins, so when they are done, only the veins are left. They will grow up quite fast, molting every week or 2. When sub-adult, they start to devower any food plant that comes their way. They need so much food and will make such a mess, it's very hard to keep up with cleaning the terrarium...

These Katydids are always hungry, and you will need lots of foodplants to raise a bunch of them. I personally find that especially the females, nymphs and adults, eat the most, and this only gets less after she laid their first batch.
They are docile and can be kept in small groups, however, do not keep too many males in one enclosure, it will stress them too much. Also, these animals fly extremely well, be careful when changing the food plants, an open window is an opportunity for escapees. Once outside, they will fly straight to the top of a tree, never to be found again.

A very cute and relatively easy species to breed, but keep in mind they come from a tropical climate, and won't do well if only kept at room temperature. In fact, I even think they kind of suffer under 25° Celsius. When provided the right temperature, you will notice they are more active, males will call the females more frequently and overall, they will do better Don’t keep all the eggs, unless you've got other pets that like to eat Katydids. If you hatch all the eggs, soon you will be flooded. If you live in an area where the climate is warm enough, please be extremely careful not to release them or let them escape. This is definitely an invasive species!!

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