The Vietnamese Stick Insect, or Ramulus artemis, is a long and slender stick insect from Vietnam. It is usually green but can sometimes be brown too. In captivity there are only females of this species!
Ramulus artemis has the Phasmid Study Group number PSG 144.
Ramulus artemis has the typical form of stick insects that many people expect of them: long and thin. This species is light to medium green with yellow eyes. On the head and on the abdomen is a brown spot. Sometimes completely brown varieties occur.
Adult females have a small thorn at the underside of their abdomen.
When you include the front legs, this stick insect is about 21 cm long! The body length is about 15 cm. This means it is a pretty big stick insect.
Behavior of Vietnamese Stick Insects
During the day this species moves very little. In the evening and night you can see them move and eat. When this stick insect walks, it often walkings in a wobbly or shaking fashion. It does this in order to look more like a twig, moving in the wind.
A child can easily handle this stick insect, but it should not be picked up but rather be allowed to walk onto your hand. Newborn nymphs are pretty fragile.
Food for Ramulus artemis
This species eats leaves of blackberry, raspberry, oak, rose and hazel. They do not eat ivy!
Beware of roses (and other plants) from the shop, which can be sprayed with insecticide! You can check out our Food Plants page to learn to recognize wild foodplants.
Room temperature is fine for these animals, around 20 °C. If you want to keep them at a higher temperature you can put them at 28 °C.
This species does not have high demands regarding the humidity. They must have some water to drink, so spraying with a little bit of water every other day is advised. Ventilation is important.
As with all species of stick insects, this species needs an enclosure of at least 3 times the length of the body of the insect in height, and at least 2x the length of the insect in width. For an adult female so this means at least 45 cm high and 30 cm wide.
Breeding Vietnamese Stick Insects
In captivity there are only female Ramulus artemis stick insects. It is not sure if males even exist in nature. Females reproduce parthenogenically, meaning they lay eggs that will hatch without being fertilized. All nymphs will also be females. You can recognize an adult female by the thorn she as at the underside of her abdomen. Immature nymphs do not have this thorn.
The eggs are small flat seed-like things. They are brown and can easily be distinguished from droppings.
Collect the eggs in the enclosure and store them on moist paper. This paper should always remain moist but not really wet. The eggs hatch very well, often more than 90%. Please choose wisely how many eggs you want to keep. If you keep all the eggs, then you will be overwhelmed with stick insect nymphs. You can better euthanise some eggs (by placing them in the freezer) than to kill or neglect the nymphs. I think it is impossible to find good homes for every nymph a female produces! The eggs hatch after about two months.