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Rearing Megaphasma dentricus

The mega walkingstick is the largest and undoubtedly most colorful of the U.S. Phasmids. The females reach 150mm (6 inches) and the males are about 130mm (over 5 inches). The males are the colorful ones and possess enlarged femurs with a decent spine on the middle and back legs which they use to impale other males. Sadly, I will not have a photo of an adult male for a few months.

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Food: M. dentricus eats many different foods including, but not limited to: oak, apple, cherry, rose, blackberry, raspberry, and willow.

Life cycle: Females lay a few hundred black and white eggs which will hatch in 5-8 months. Nymphs of this animal are very fragile and often tough to get to start feeding but they are definitely worth the trouble. 5 or more months later and adult males are about stabbing each other and injecting females with large spine-like spermatophores that stick out of the females abdomen.

go to Megaphasma ovago to Megaphasma nymphsDifficulties: There seems to be a very high mortality on hatchlings which is lessened greatly if fed willow until the first molt and kept with other nymphs that have already begun eating. One other problem is that males tend to kill each other eventually but generally long after they have successfully mated many times.

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