English Spanish facebook_link

Keeping phasmids (stick insects and leaf insects).

Phasmiduniverse is a web page created in 2008 whose main goal is to fill the information gap about the breeding and the captivity maintenance of phasmids (order Phasmida) in the Spanish language. In our country, popularity among these insects has been increased along the years significantly and, consequently, so did the number of amateurs who keep them in captivity.

After ten years of breeding different species, we still feel enthusiastic about sharing our experience with all breeders and about offering information to those who start breeding these insects.

It is important for us that the information is truthful and not copied from other sources. Thus, breeding data is based on my personal experience as well as on the experience from some reliable colleagues with many years of practical experience. Therefore, the whole web page (specially the breeding data section) will be like a notebook which will be updated as we discover better methods and improve our techniques.

Phyllium westwoodii L1 nymph.

What is a phasmid?

They are insects that belong to Phasmida (=Phasmatodea) and are usually known as leaf and stick insects. They are phytophagous and their most common survival strategy is generally camouflage (cripsis) to go unnoticed to predators, like other arthropods, birds, small mammals and reptiles.

On the one hand, the most common ones are those which are morphologically similar to a branch or to the stem of a plant. On the other hand, there are others which are very similar to leaves (Phylliidae family), barks (Heteropterygidae family); and there are others even very colorful (aposematism).

Some grasshopper and mantids species also use camouflage to become similar to branches. As a consequence, people call them stick insects and think that they belong to the same order that the phasmids. However, this is a mistake since all of them are insects but they belong to different orders.