Phasmid Eggs Sold Online

Kookookachu

Arachnopeon
Joined
Dec 8, 2016
Messages
21
If one enters the term "stick insect eggs" into the search query on eBay numerous listings by UK breeders come up. While the feedback ratings for these breeders are good, the time to post negative ratings usually expires prior to the buyer finding out whether the eggs purchased were duds - due the lengthy incubation period of phasmid species. Thus, the feefback ratings are useless.

Has anyone on Arachnoboards purchased phasmid eggs from breeders on eBay and what was their experience concerning the viability of the eggs? Suggestions welcome. $_1 (2).JPG $_1.JPG $_1 (1).JPG
 

chanda

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Jun 27, 2010
Messages
2,060
Because you are in the U.S., the greater concern is not the viability of the eggs but their legality. While phasmids are wonderful pets (and perfectly legal in the UK and many other parts of the world), it is not legal to ship phasmids into the U.S. because they are considered a potentially invasive agricultural pest. It is easy enough to find sellers who are willing to "brown box" the eggs and ship them to you, but if you get caught importing them you could face fines and other penalties.
 

KevinsWither

Arachnolord
Joined
Jul 11, 2014
Messages
643
Because you are in the U.S., the greater concern is not the viability of the eggs but their legality. While phasmids are wonderful pets (and perfectly legal in the UK and many other parts of the world), it is not legal to ship phasmids into the U.S. because they are considered a potentially invasive agricultural pest. It is easy enough to find sellers who are willing to "brown box" the eggs and ship them to you, but if you get caught importing them you could face fines and other penalties.
Honestly, the USDA are really only after phasmids, land mollusks (snails/slugs), and beetles. Technically, all of are inverts are illegal "mantids and assassin bugs too," except for a few tarantulas and whatnot, and even then it can be put under that jurisdiction (rare cases of (giant tarantula or centipede) eating up bees. Even though there is a trade on ovogram (I'd for that use native but abundant species for obtaining resources), and eBay, I would not recommend u you import unless you really are willing to take the risks and have enough resources. In terms of that, there are plenty of people who are willing to do that. I know plenty of people on many sources that had and have these "phasmids, beetles or mollusks."

USDA has good intentions with the law (emerald ash borers, burmese pythons, crayfish in Arizona, guam tree snakes, etc.), they often can overreact with certain aspects (like how in the world is a delicate phyllium giganteum or its ova are going to survive a nice cold winter where it can get freezing, or prehaps an orchid mantis dying of humidity, or a Jungle nymph ova simply failing to hatch due to it being too dry, etc). The only areas this could potentially affect is the southern states (Florida and Hawaii, though both have heavy restrictions on exotic wildlife).
 

Kookookachu

Arachnopeon
Joined
Dec 8, 2016
Messages
21
I know about the USDA restrictions, however, that may not apply to the eggs (which can be sent via regular mail in a small letter-size envelope). Assuming it doesn't apply, my question is simply has anyone on here bought eggs online and they turned out to be duds (they never hatched)?
 

KevinsWither

Arachnolord
Joined
Jul 11, 2014
Messages
643
I know about the USDA restrictions, however, that may not apply to the eggs (which can be sent via regular mail in a small letter-size envelope). Assuming it doesn't apply, my question is simply has anyone on here bought eggs online and they turned out to be duds (they never hatched)?
You never really know. As a rule, the more eggs, the more chances of hatching. I have bought a mantis oothecae (exotic) and they hatched.
 

Andrea82

Arachnoemperor
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Messages
3,610
Honestly, the USDA are really only after phasmids, land mollusks (snails/slugs), and beetles. Technically, all of are inverts are illegal "mantids and assassin bugs too," except for a few tarantulas and whatnot, and even then it can be put under that jurisdiction (rare cases of (giant tarantula or centipede) eating up bees. Even though there is a trade on ovogram (I'd for that use native but abundant species for obtaining resources), and eBay, I would not recommend u you import unless you really are willing to take the risks and have enough resources. In terms of that, there are plenty of people who are willing to do that. I know plenty of people on many sources that had and have these "phasmids, beetles or mollusks."

USDA has good intentions with the law (emerald ash borers, burmese pythons, crayfish in Arizona, guam tree snakes, etc.), they often can overreact with certain aspects (like how in the world is a delicate phyllium giganteum or its ova are going to survive a nice cold winter where it can get freezing, or prehaps an orchid mantis dying of humidity, or a Jungle nymph ova simply failing to hatch due to it being too dry, etc). The only areas this could potentially affect is the southern states (Florida and Hawaii, though both have heavy restrictions on exotic wildlife).
While a P.giganteum may not survive a cold winter, they are very well capable of clearing big fields when they are doing that in big numbers. They eat a LOT.
@Kookookachu
Eggs are just as illegal as the insects themselves. Your post about them being easily sent via a regular envelope is dangerously coming close to brownboxing, which topic is forbidden on AB. Why do you want to know if those eggs are good, if you're not planning to order them?
 

myrmecophile

Arachnolord
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 22, 2006
Messages
625
You can rest assured the USDA people do monitor this place, and they can and will pay a visit based on what they read here. It has happened before.
 

chanda

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Jun 27, 2010
Messages
2,060
I know about the USDA restrictions, however, that may not apply to the eggs (which can be sent via regular mail in a small letter-size envelope). Assuming it doesn't apply, my question is simply has anyone on here bought eggs online and they turned out to be duds (they never hatched)?
Why would the USDA restrictions apply only to live insects and not to eggs? Assuming that the eggs are viable, they will become live insects with voracious appetites and the ability to reproduce without mating - which is exactly what the USDA is trying to avoid. The only difference is that eggs are smaller and hardier than live insects, making them easier to sneak in an envelope. As far as I know, the only thing that the import restrictions do not apply to is dead specimens.
 

Tuffz

Arachnoknight
Joined
Dec 13, 2015
Messages
263
I can tell you that i have bought ova a couple times and they have hatched, not all of them of course.. Even if you keep them yourself you won't get a 100% hatch rate. Some species seem to have a higher hatch rate if the eggs are left undisturbed (like Heteropteryx dilatata) others suffer no effect from moving ova around.
Also they are legal around here so i'm not sure about the safety of buying them.
 

KevinsWither

Arachnolord
Joined
Jul 11, 2014
Messages
643
You can rest assured the USDA people do monitor this place, and they can and will pay a visit based on what they read here. It has happened before.
It can happen. Then again if they are monitoring the boards, then why have they not managed to get to the guy's home (there are a few people who have them) if they are here everyday looking over us? Then again if you really are willing to take a risk, get at least 20 ova (minimize any risks), be patient and any parthenogenesis species should be avoided. Or don't do it at all for legal safety. Personally we arent supposed to be keeping mantids or assassin bugs. Heck we aren't even supposed to ship tarantulas in the mail.
 

myrmecophile

Arachnolord
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 22, 2006
Messages
625
They are certainly not here every day but they do check in and if they find something they will often follow up.
 

Kookookachu

Arachnopeon
Joined
Dec 8, 2016
Messages
21
I noticed on FaunaClassifieds that a dealer named Underground Reptiles is selling Phasmid nymphs (Extatosoma tiaratum). I was wondering if anyone on here had heard if the USDA had changed its often cited alleged policy of banning possession of phasmid species in the USA?
 
Last edited:

chanda

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Jun 27, 2010
Messages
2,060
I noticed on FaunaClassifieds that a dealer named Underground Reptiles is selling Phasmid nymphs (Extatosoma tiaratum). I was wondering if anyone on here had heard if the USDA had changed its often cited alleged policy of banning possession of phasmid species in the USA?
No, they have not. All exotic phasmids are still illegal to import/own/breed/sell. Even U.S. native stick insects are illegal to transport across state lines, out of their native range. This person is risking an expensive visit from the USDA or Fish and Game if he is keeping and selling them - and if you buy from him, you are taking the same risk.

In fact, it turns out that my previous comment in this thread about *dead* specimens being ok was not altogether accurate. I tried buying a few preserved leaf insects off Etsy to mount in a shadow box, and they were confiscated by Fish and Game at customs. While it is not illegal to *have* them, apparently there is some sort of customs paperwork that needs to be filled out to import even dead bugs or parts of bugs.
 

Andee

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jul 1, 2013
Messages
402
Plasmids are amazing at overwintering and the ova are sturdy. A lot of the species have a good relationship with multiple species of ants found here so they can be safely kept alive when ova until hatching happens. And females often lay an egg or more a day once fertilized or all the time.
 

Kookookachu

Arachnopeon
Joined
Dec 8, 2016
Messages
21
Plasmids are amazing at overwintering and the ova are sturdy. A lot of the species have a good relationship with multiple species of ants found here so they can be safely kept alive when ova until hatching happens. And females often lay an egg or more a day once fertilized or all the time.
Assuming all that you wrote is correct, you’re point is what?
 

pannaking22

Arachnoemperor
Active Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2011
Messages
4,158
Andee's point is that that can drastically increase the chances of them surviving the winter and becoming established here. If you were to get viable eggs and lots of nymphs and eventual adults, would you be vigilant in combing through their frass every cleaning to make sure there aren't any eggs mixed in? What about with even the ones that may/may not be viable? While the nymphs are certainly frail it's not like they're going to try to emerge during the winter. The northern states actually have a lot of suitable food for them as well, so that likely wouldn't be as much of a limiting factor.

As cool as they would be to keep, I highly recommend against it unless you're willing to potentially pay a steep steep price. Lots of rules and regs against keeping them in a non-zoo, non-university setting and I don't see them changing anytime soon.
 

Kookookachu

Arachnopeon
Joined
Dec 8, 2016
Messages
21
As I've pointed out in prior posts, Phasmids are being sold on eBay and Amazon (for years) and now they're being sold on FaunaClassifieds. They're not being sold surreptitiously but openly. The USDA and USFW are well aware that Phasmids are being sold in the US. I know this personally. So the issue is, although there are regulations prohibiting possession of Phasmids, those rules and regs are not being enforced.
 

MetalMan2004

Arachnodemon
Joined
Oct 14, 2016
Messages
681
As I've pointed out in prior posts, Phasmids are being sold on eBay and Amazon (for years) and now they're being sold on FaunaClassifieds. They're not being sold surreptitiously but openly. The USDA and USFW are well aware that Phasmids are being sold in the US. I know this personally. So the issue is, although there are regulations prohibiting possession of Phasmids, those rules and regs are not being enforced.
That doesn’t change the fact that its still illegal. Do what you will, but don’t expect anyone here to assist you in breaking the law.
 

chanda

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Jun 27, 2010
Messages
2,060
As I've pointed out in prior posts, Phasmids are being sold on eBay and Amazon (for years) and now they're being sold on FaunaClassifieds. They're not being sold surreptitiously but openly. The USDA and USFW are well aware that Phasmids are being sold in the US. I know this personally. So the issue is, although there are regulations prohibiting possession of Phasmids, those rules and regs are not being enforced.
So, what you're really saying is that you know they are illegal to have in the U.S., but because you are aware of other people who have them anyway, you want us to tell you that makes it ok for you to do so as well?

Many of the Ebay and Amazon sellers are not located in the US - they are in the UK or in other places where phasmids are legal to keep as pets. It is not illegal for them to sell or ship the eggs and they are not responsible for knowing or abiding by the import laws of the buyer's country. That is on the buyer, and unfortunately ignorance is no defense. If you buy a bunch of eggs on ebay and then have the USDA or Fish and Game come knocking on your door, they aren't going to care if you say "But I bought them on ebay! I didn't know I wasn't supposed to have them." They will confiscate the phasmids - and possibly any other inverts, reptiles, or other exotics they think might be questionable - even if they were legally obtained from local, captive-bred stock. It will then be up to you to prove that your other pets were legally obtained in order to get them back - before they are destroyed or just die from inadequate care while impounded. As for the phasmids, you won't be getting those back - you'll just be getting a hefty fine for having them, regardless of whether you knew that they were illegal or not.

People here in the U.S. who already have the (illegal) phasmids and are keeping/selling them openly are taking a foolish risk. Maybe they don't know that the phasmids are illegal, or maybe they are gambling on the enforcing agencies being too busy (or their own operation too small to attract notice) and hoping that they don't get caught. Either way, assuming that the rules are not being enforced and that you won't get caught is highly risky. Yes, I am certain that the USDA and Fish and Game are aware that illegal phasmids are present in this country - just like the DEA is aware that illegal drugs are manufactured, imported, bought, and sold in this country. Just because they are aware that the problem exists does not mean that they necessarily know which specific individuals are involved in the illegal trade - nor that they have the resources and sufficient evidence to prosecute all of said individuals. The USDA is a large organization with an absolutely massive area of oversight and limited resources. They may not be able to dedicate a lot of time to combing through Craigslist or Ebay ads or online forums like FaunaClassifieds for the occasional phasmids seller - BUT that does not mean that they don't enforce the rules. Sure, some people are getting away with it - right up until they aren't. There was a guy in San Diego who was selling E. tiaratum a few years ago. I saw him at some of the shows and even saw a few Craigslist ads. Then he disappeared. While I don't know the details, I later heard from one of our local invert/reptile vendors that Fish and Game had come down hard on him.

Really, it's up to you. You know that it's illegal to import or keep phasmids. You know that you could face stiff penalties if you are caught doing so. Maybe you would get away with it and maybe you wouldn't - but if/when you get caught, telling the authorities that you didn't think they really enforced those regulations is not going to help.
 
Last edited:
Top