Short care sheet for Autolyca herculeana “Tegucigalpa”:
Size: up to 5.5-6 cm
Temperature: can be kept at room temperatures (20-24C)
Difficulty Level: Easy
IMPORTANT – this species is not recommended for people with allergies!
Beautiful medium sized species from Honduras with black, dark brown and red coloration – it is yet pretty new to collections. Scientific name “Autolyca herculeana” is consisting from references to Greek and Roman mythology – Autolycus, one of Heracles companions in his expedition agains Amazons and one of argonauts (or, as in fact there were two Autolycus, Heracles teacher of wrestling and grand father of another well known hero Odysseus) and Hercules, Roman equivalent of Heracles. Great chance to keep a Stick Insect and learn about ancient cultures!:)
This species is easy to keep and in terms of conditions is not really different from most of other phasmids except they don’t need extra humidity, so no need to spray them. They are feeding on Privet (Ligustrum sp.) and Salal (Gaulteria shallon), also it can eat Honeysuckle (Lonicera sp.), but our experience shows that the best results can be achieved with Privet.
Usually females will need sand as substrate for eggs laying and this is very interesting to watch their breeding behaviour – they will dig a small pit, put eggs there and then accurately cover it with sand. If they will not be able find a place to dig they will just drop eggs on the ground.
Incubation can be done on dry sand and usually takes up to 6 months, but some eggs can hatch weeks or even months after first nymph emerged. Young nymphs are strong enough to start feeding and are pretty hardy, so mortality rate is usually very low.
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