Phyllium Giganteum

Origin -
Malaysia

Food -
Bramble, oak, rose, raspberry, salal

Adult lengh -
Female 10-11 cm, male 8 cm

Terrarium -
Well ventilated and at least 50 cm in height (for 1 or 2 individuals)
Make sure to avoid overpopulation of the enclosure!!

Incubation time eggs -
5 to 7 months, some eggs will hatch even after 8, 9 or 10 months. After a year, you can be sure the rest of the eggs won't hatch anymore and throw them away.

Experience with this species -
This is a parthenogenetic culture, males are not present in captivity, except for one person, who was lucky enough to get some males after ordering eggs from wild caught females by Sharon Cheong.

This is not a difficult species to breed, if the basic needs are met. First of all, they need an enclosure with lots of airflow. Do make sure two opposing ventilation strips are present. Second of all, they will be needing lots and lots of light, preferably natural sunlight if the terrarium is placed near a window. If artificial light is being offered, make sure to get the kind of light source that provides the full spectrum. This can either be LED or TL tube lighting.

Nymphs at first are reddish-brown in colour, but after they start eating, they will turn to green after a week or 3-4. Growing process is kind of slow, and not very surprising, this is the largest leaf insect known to science.

Survival rate under perfect conditions should be more than 80 % or more.

Once the first molt is completed, they won't be too hard to care for anymore.

Slowly but surely, they will molt every 7 / 8 weeks, and after 7 or 9, months the females will be adult. A couple of weeks later, the first eggs will be laid.

Incubate on vermiculite, peat or a mix of soil, rotten wood, moss and dead leaves. keep the incubation container slightly moist by spraying with water 2 times a week. Be careful not to keep them too wet, eggs are prone to get mouldy.

The secret to successfully breeding this beautiful species, is different for each breeder, but in general, basic rules are very simple: keep the paper towel or other substrate on the bottom of the enclosure moist at all times, make sure they have sufficient airflow so nymphs feel encouraged to start eating and to keep adults active, provide them with adequate access of light, either daylight or full spectrum artificial lighting.

Further, a bit of luck and a lot of patience is needed.

P. giganteum that feeds on salal, is generally darker in colour with more black or brown marking along the edges of their body.

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