The Pseudophasma Subapterum is a dark brown Phasmid species with some beautifully colored, striking wings. The fore wings are yellow-black and the hind wings are red-black.
This nocturnal species is native to Venezuela. It is a popular pet insect, which can be tricky for beginner stick insect keepers due to the chemical that the insect uses if it feels threatened.
Like all walking stick insects, this species is phytophagous which means that it only eats plants. It is also polyphagous and can be fed with several different leaves such as privet, lonicera, Plantago, lilac, plantains, and aucuba.
You can also try different plants and find out what your pet insect likes the most. Don’t worry about giving the “wrong” plant. Insects know what’s best for them and will not eat what they cannot tolerate well.
Always make sure that no pesticides were used on the leaves and that you rinsed the leaves before feeding them, just in case.
Try to feed your pet insects in the evening. Phasmids are nocturnal creatures and do most of their eating and moving at night. Therefore providing your walking sticks with food in the evening will give them the possibility to eat fresh leaves.
The enclosure should be at least 7 inches tall. Compared to other species, the Pseudophasma Subapterum is one of the smaller walking sticks and does not need as much space to molt, like the others.
It still needs some height in the enclosure to be able to shed while handing upside down for the ceiling or from a twig.
Since you don’t have to worry too much about the humidity for this species, you can use an enclosure with mesh walls or two glass or plastic walls and two mesh walls to allow ventilation.
For decoration, you can use cork, bark, and twigs to give the stick insect the possibility to hide itself during the day.
For your substrate on the floor, you can use anything that retains and slowly releases humidity such as vermiculite, Spagna moss, hummus, and sand, or even just a paper towel.
Room temperature is perfectly fine for this species. As long as you keep it somewhere between 68° F (= 20° C) during the night and 77° F (25° C) during the day, this species will thrive.
The humidity for this species can be slightly above the normal humidity in a room. Anything between 50% and 70% is perfect.
You can spray a fine mist of water two to three times a week into the enclosure. Mist the substrate, the walls, and the leaves to allow your walking sticks to drink the tiny drops of water from the plants.
The Pseudophasma Subapterum is a rather small species out of the popular pet Phasmids. The females are usually around 2.5 inches and the males are around 2 inches in length.
They have wings that are not used for flying or gliding. The wings are the most striking feature in their appearance. Both males and females have tiny yellow-black front wings and red-black hind wings. The rest of their bodies are dark brown with white dots on each side of the abdomen.
The males and females reach maturity after 3 to 5 months and the females start to lay eggs 3 to 4 weeks after reaching adulthood.
This species reproduces only sexually. That means that both male and female are needed to breed this species.
They breed easily. When the mating was successful, the female lays around 2 to 3 eggs per day.
Ova, Incubation Period
The females of this species drop their ova (= eggs) on the floor. If you want to remove the ova, you can use a paper towel as a substrate on the ground of the enclosure to be able to see the ova better. The incubation period is around 3 to 4 months at 68° F (=20° C) to 74° F (=.around 23° C).
It is best to keep the ova on a paper towel with some dry Spagna moss over them and mist them once a week.
Overall Difficulty Rating
This species is easy to medium for beginners. They are easy to breed, have an interesting appearance, don’t need extra high humidity or temperature, and are usually very calm and docile.
Just like some other species, the Pseudophasma Subapterum is able to spray a chemical towards the predator if it feels threatened. This chemical can cause a rash, therefore this species should be handled with care, gloves, and protection glasses.
Lisa is one of the two founders of Animal-Knowledge. She has been very interested in animals and insects from a very young age and has owned different kinds of pets such as snails, ants, fish, turtles, mice, rats, hamsters, rabbits, a dog, … you get the idea 🙂