Mating Habits:
The mating habits of Megaphasma dentricus appear to follow no predictable patterns. The males show no preference for female size, and instead mate with who they come in contact with first. Differing from other species of phasmids, which fight for access to females, males of this species do not compete with each other (Maginnis 2008). When a male decides to mate with an available female, he will approach her, wrap his clasping organs (link to form page) around her last abdominal segment, and hang from her (Wilkins 1951). The male can usually attach to the female in two minutes, and will stay attached for at least twelve hours. A male who has achieved this position will never abandon the female, even if another male attempts to clasp on while they are paired. These second males are referred to as ‘loser’ males, and are unsuccessful in their attempts at mating. Although they are usually too far away from the genitalia and frequently slip off of the female, the ‘loser’ males spend ninety percent of their time trying to pair. Individuals of Megaphasma dentricus usually have a new mating partner within a day and a half of their last sexual encounter (Maginnis 2008).


Laying the Egg:
When the female is ready to lay an egg, the male will remove his genitalia from hers to allow egg deposit, but will still keep his claspers wrapped around her. It takes about seven minutes for the egg to drop, and the female leaves the egg where it falls making no attempt to conceal it (Wilkins 1951). The female may lay more than one egg at this time (in seven minute intervals), and can produce as many as thirteen a day for numerous months (Maginnis 2008).

Appearance of the Egg:
The eggs of Megaphasma dentricus range from light to dark brown and are about 4.5mm long and 3.0mm wide. The portion of the egg that exits the female first is rounded with many small projections. The opposite end of the egg has a grill-like cap connected to it, with many small hairs at its base. This cap is very fragile and usually falls off before the nymph crawls out. There have been no observed differences between hatchings with and without the cap present (Wilkins 1951).


Hatching of the Nymph:
In late spring, the nymphs will hatch (Broyles 2000). It takes the nymph up to a day to hatch, emerging the bottom of its thorax first, and its antennas last. It will be a bright green color and about 12mm in length (Wilkins 1951). The nymph will go through four to five molts before becoming a full adult (Broyles 2000).

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