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Sub-adult Goliath stick insect

9 Oct

Hey everyone! Just wanted to share a video of me holding (just one of) my beautiful sub-adult female Goliath stick insects. These gals will get quite a fair bit larger after their next molt, and be a beautiful green! 

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

 

Violet-winged Stick insect (Didymuria violescens) emerging from egg!

25 Sep

Tonight I was in the insect room (yes, I have an entire room for them) cleaning the cages and making sure everyone was fed.  I decided to move my “video” cage full of various eggs to a smaller container to move a huntsman to the larger one.  I wasn’t really expecting anything to hatch at 9pm at night (they usually hatch between 5-10am) so, imagine my surprise when I looked down and saw a Violet-winged Stick insect hatching!  I quickly grabbed my phone and started video taping.  The video is nearly 3 minutes long, and at the very end I switch it off to help the insect get loose of the egg casing (per my worried daughter’s wishes), so rest assured, everything turned out okay.

This is what the Violet-wing (also known as the Spur-Legged Stick insect) looks like as nymph.

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And this is what they look like as adults.

These stick insects, like most, feed on eucalyptus leaves.  The males are able to fly, but the females do not. These insects occur on the east coast of Australia.  They get their common name obviously from the colour on their wings, but their other common name ‘spur legged’ is from the distinctive spurs on the male’s thicker hind legs.

Spiny Leaf insect hatching (Extatosoma tiaratum) Great video!

16 Sep

So, I finally got a good quality video of one of my Spiny leaf insects (Extatosoma tiaratum) hatching.  I’m so happy to finally catch this amazing event.  I’ve always wondered how such a gangly (yet still small) insect comes from such a tiny egg.  You’ll notice that the legs almost seem pliable at first, which probably explains their ability to be folded up in such a tiny space.  A lot like humans, it seems!  The action takes place near the bottom third of the screen.  Be sure to click on the ‘enlarge screen’ tab to really get a close-up look.  And don’t worry, the egg came off of his/her foot eventually. 🙂

Goliath Stick insect nymph

12 Sep

These guys are hatching so quickly now! I’m trying to get more video of these and the Spiny Leaf’s hatching, so be patient. Just couldnt help share a quick little picture with you all. They probably aren’t more than an inch long. 🙂

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Stick insect emerging from egg (Spiny Leaf insect-Extatosoma tiaratum)

11 Sep

I set up my laptop camera (all the extended-video capabilities at the moment) to try and capture one of my stick insects emerging from an egg.  After hoooooouuuurrrsss, I finally captured a really bad 33-second video of one tiny little Spiny Leaf insect (Extatosoma tiaratum) emerging!  If you divide the screen up into fours, the action happens in the bottom left of the screen.  (You may have to watch a few times.)

I’ll be doing some more videos in the next few days, and hopefully will get a much clearer one.  My Goliath Stick insects (Eurycnema goliath) are also hatching at a pretty good rate, so will probably see some of those as well.

Spring has sprung!

23 Aug

Spring is definitely here in Australia! So far I’ve had my Spiny leaf (Extatosoma tiaratums) eggs start hatching.

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Then a praying mantis ooth I’ve kept finally hatched into around 20 tiny, adorable baby mantids.

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And now my Goliath Stick insect (Eurynema goliath) eggs have begun to hatch. What an exciting week!!
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