Este es uno de las 8 especies conocidas del género Agathemera, único género del suborden Agathemerodea, del orden Phasmatodea (comunmente insectos palo, palotes en Chile, mata caballos en colombia).
Es un insecto de buen tamaño, los adultos miden entre 70mm (macho) y 100mm (hembra).
Los Agathemera comen lo mismo que aprenden a comer cuando nacen, no cambian el tipo de planta duante su vida, por lo que son realmente difíciles de llevar a cautiverio.
El nombre Chinchemoye se usa indistintamente para todo el género Agathemera y probablemente deriva de la secresión olorosa que libera al sentirse amenazado, como los chinches hediondos."/>
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Chinchemoye

Agathemera elegans

Description:

This is one of the 8 known species of Agathemera, only genus in the suborder of Agathemerodea, part of the Phasmatodea order(mainly stick insects).
Agathemera share a great deal of characteristics with stick insects, like the long lasting copula.
Their adult size range from about 70mm (males) to 100mm (females) The Agathemera genus eat plants, and the specific kind they get familiar with at hatching, not other kind, for all their lives; so it's very hard to take them in to captivity.
Chinchemoye is used in general for all the species of Agathemera because they expel a smelly secretion, hence the name from "Chinche"(stink bug), which in this case is not really bad, but very caracteristic.

Este es uno de las 8 especies conocidas del género Agathemera, único género del suborden Agathemerodea, del orden Phasmatodea (comunmente insectos palo, palotes en Chile, mata caballos en colombia).
Es un insecto de buen tamaño, los adultos miden entre 70mm (macho) y 100mm (hembra).
Los Agathemera comen lo mismo que aprenden a comer cuando nacen, no cambian el tipo de planta duante su vida, por lo que son realmente difíciles de llevar a cautiverio.
El nombre Chinchemoye se usa indistintamente para todo el género Agathemera y probablemente deriva de la secresión olorosa que libera al sentirse amenazado, como los chinches hediondos.

Habitat:

Cordillera Nevada, Cordón Caulle-Puyehue area, in the southern Andes. They live above the treeline, about 1300 meters above sea level. They live between the rocks and low srubs, they are supposed to survive one winter by hibernation.

Encontrado sobre los 1300 msnm en zona de pedregales y arbustos bajos, en la Cordillera Nevada o Cordón Caulle.

Notes:

This year (2012) we walked a whole day through an area where they thrived, all above 1500 meters above sea level, we saw more than 20 and photographed most of them, some where alone, but most in groups of up to 4 individuals, mostly males, and in some cases competing for a female.
Initially I identified these as Agathemera crassa, but with this year's pictures I managed to see my error, now I'm pretty sure they are Agathemera elegans.
The pictures show mostly males, except for the third and fourth, which are females.
The allegedly horrible smell isn't so, at least in this species, is an acrid smell, but not really strong nor disgusting. At the end of the day we would smell them before we saw them. And on of my shoes still carries the particular smell (at least that's what I think); the smell somehow reminds me of an old attic.
The dust on some of them is volcanic ash that had been falling during those days from a volcano erupting a few miles away (which is really cool).

Este año (2012) caminamos todo un día por la región donde viven estos insectos, sobre los 1500 msnm y vimos más de 20 individuos, mayormente machos, a veces solos y otras en grupos de hasta 4 individuos, normalmente compitiendo por una hembra.
Originalmente había identificado esta especie como Agathemera crassa, pero con las fotografías de este año y un poco más de búsqueda descubrí mi error; ahora estoy bastante seguro que son Agathemera elegans.
El "terrible" olor que se supone expelían estos bichos, no lo es realmente, algunos de nosotros nunca lo sintieron, otros en cambio, terminamos descubriéndolos por el olor antes que por la vista. El olor me recuerda un poco a una buhardilla sin uso, pero no es el olor a polvo, eso otra cosa... pero en ningún caso algo realmente repelente.
El polvo sobre algunos de ellos es ceniza volcánica que había estado cayendo esos días, provenientes del volcán Caulle a pocos kilómetros de nosotros (lo que es demasiado interesante como para no comentarlo).

Other reference / Otras referencias: http://www.insectachile.cl/revista/vol.3...

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5 Comments

BrunoKneubühler
BrunoKneubühler 9 years ago

Hola Agustin
thanks for your comments. Yes, I am aware that some breeding attempts have been made in the past. But I am not aware that any of these attempts was successful...
I am very experienced at breeding phasmids in vivo. Here you find my reports for some of the species which I have kept in the past few years:
www.phasmatodea.com/web/guest/221
if you'd send me your email adress, then I can send you informations on how to collect the eggs, just in case you will go there sooner or later.
My email adress is: gopala@bluewin.ch

Hello Bruno.
There has been some in-lab studies of Agatheremera sp. in Chile and Argentina. And the only way they managed to keep them in captivity is by growing them from eggs. Apparently because they only eat on kind of plants, and it is the one they learn to eat when born.
These are fairly common and easy to find in the exposed rocky areas of the "Parque nacional Pullehue" I rarely go there, this year was the first time in about 5 years. But it's not hard to get there from Riñinahue. Even from Pullehue town, it's a day's trip.
If I go there next january I'd be very lucky, but I'll be on the lookout for eggs.

BrunoKneubühler
BrunoKneubühler 9 years ago

would you be able to collect eggs of these? I would be very interested to study an Agathemera species in vivo....

Thank you Luis, it's a collection of the little information circulating on the web, hoping it will help someone some day.

LuisStevens
LuisStevens 9 years ago

Great spotting and excellent description!

XIV Región de Los Ríos, Chile

Spotted on Feb 15, 2012
Submitted on Mar 12, 2012

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