stick insects

Facts about stick insects

Stick Insect Facts

  • About 3000 species of stick insects are known in the world.
  • Stick insects are strictly vegetarian.
  • Walking sticks are found primarily in the temperate and tropical regions. These creatures spend their days motionless hanging from leaves and branches waiting until dark to feed.
  • Stick insects can produce young without mating – some populations consist entirely of mature females and their offspring, all exact replicas of each other.
  • The walking stick has the unusual ability of partial regeneration. If a leg is lost or damaged it will grow back after several successive molts. By molting, or shedding its skin, the walking stick is able to grow to an astounding size in just a few months. Once the skin is shed the walking stick eats its own molt.
  • The Australian Walking Stick is well-camouflaged in its environment because it can grow to resemble an 8-inch-long spiny branch with dead leaves for legs. The giant prickly stick insect curls up its abdomen to mimic the scorpion attacking with its tail.
  • Adulthood is achieved after five or six months, and adults live a further six months or more.
  • Stick insects blend into their surroundings to fool predators. Their stemlike bodies and muted colors make them almost invisible among the foliage of their food plants.
  • Stick insects sway to imitate the effect of wind on vegetation. If disturbed, the insect may drop to the ground like a dead twig.
  • Each stick insect egg may stay on the forest floor for up to three years, protected by its seedlike appearance and hard shell. Eventually the young insect emerges from its hinged shell.
  • The Southeast Asian stick insect, Pharnacia serratipes, is, at 13 inches, the longest insect in the world.
  • The males of some stick insect species have never been found in the wild.
  • Some stick insects will discourage their attackers by regurgitating their food at them or squirting them with poison.
  • Some stick insects have something in common with chameleons; they can change their colour to suit their surroundings.
  • Only about one in one thousand Indian Stick Insects is male.
  • Sometimes when disturbed stick insects will ‘play dead’ for a few minutes. to trick predators.
  • Stick Insects have suckers and claws on their feet, allowing them to walk up vertical walls and even upside down.
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