Archive | November, 2015

Giant Northern Stick Insect

24 Nov

My female Giant Northern Stick Insect finally molted to adult. Also known as the Wuelfing’s Stick insect (Acrophyllas wuelfingi), this big beauty is one of Australia’s largest stick insects, with the female of the species reaching up to 210mm (8+ inches)!

Here’s  a picture of her when I first got her. I’m guessing she was at least 3rd instar (3rd stage of development after two molts).

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And here she is now, just 5 short months later…

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Just like other stick insects, Wuelfing’s are parthenogenetic, which means the females do not need a male to lay viable eggs. All offspring from these eggs will, however, be clones of the mother.

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These beautiful creatures will live for up to a year, and can produce hundreds of eggs in their lifetime. I will be doing a follow up post addressing stick insect eggs and their care.

Any questions? Email me at wannabeentomologist@gmail.com

 

Orb Spider (Nephila maculata) on my face video going viral!

1 Nov

Well, recently I did a video of my Wuelfing stick insect (juvenile) walking around on my head.  It got such a crazy response from my friends, I decided to up the ante.  Why not put my beautiful orb spider, Coraline, on my head and really freak people out?  (I blame my love for Stephen King for this love of making people’s skin crawl.) As many of you may not know, this spider, despite appearances, is actually a very docile creature.  They’re not aggressive and not ready biters, although they are venomous and fully capable of biting.  But, their venom is not considered medically significant, like say a Redback.

So, I posted this video to YouTube so I could share it with my friends on Facebook.  Then I posted it on Reddit.  Somewhere in there, it went viral…ish.  Right now it’s sitting at just under 73,000 views.   I’ve been interviewed by the local news station, local newspaper, the story has been run on everything from The Daily Mail to MTV.com.  I’m not sure how these phenomenons happen, but it’s pretty crazy that it’s my silly mug on the viral video of the minute.

So, here’s a look at the video that’s causing such a stir.  ***Remember, these spiders are venomous and should not be handled by anyone not experienced with insect and spider handling.***