Tag Archives: phasmids

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.

Goliath Stick Insect

3 Mar

Hey everyone! Sorry I’ve been absent lately but I’ve had lots going on between family and school commitments.

I did want to share with you a picture of one of my female Goliath Stick insects (Eurycnema goliath). She is now a massive adult and has already been mated. 

Enjoy!

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Adult Male Spiny Leaf

13 Nov

I was so excited to find my male Spiny Leaf had done his final moult into adulthood. I have to admit,  the massive size and wings were a bit of a shock. And since this is my first time raising them, it was a real treat to see. 

Here are some pictures. Sorry for the quality, I took them on my phone. I’m going to do a proper shoot soon.

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Introducing, my Spiny Leaf Insects!

18 Sep

Hi everyone!  I am SO excited to introduce you all to our three new family members!

Introducing…………

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#2

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and #3 (Hallelujah!)

and #3

What are these beautiful, crazy-looking creatures, you ask?

These are Spiny Leaf insects from the insect order Phasmatodea.  These guys feed on a variety of eucalyptus leaves, as well as wattle trees and rose bushes.  Apparently, if you feed them the latter two, they will turn a beautiful shade of green whereas, the eucalyptus, will keep them brown.

When faced with  a ‘predator’ (like me) they will sway their body to resemble a leaf blowing in the wind.  It’s kind of cute, that even when I’m holding them, they will do it.  And as you can see from picture #2, they are dedicated to their role; sometimes freezing in pose for quite some time.  I noticed, that even while at rest in the cage, they will have one or two legs up in the air as if it were a branch.

The female has the ability to bear offspring even without the help of a male companion.  This is called parthenogenesis.  I discussed this topic, regarding Goliath Stick insects, in a blog post HERE.  So, even when they do not actually mate, the female will still be able to have babies– although they will all be female and clones of the mother.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about these insects is that when the female lays eggs they look like seeds with a knob on the end. Then ants, thinking they are seeds, carry them to their nest, eat only the knob and leave the rest.  When the babies hatch, they even resemble ants and are able to move amongst the colony unnoticed and eventually leave.

The adult of this species can reach anywhere from 15 to 30cm!  So, stay tuned to see the progress of these little babies.

And just in case any of you are ‘insectphobic’, here are a couple pictures of my girls holding them.  😉 (Please ignore the blur, they were being ‘leaves’.)

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Before I go, I want to ask for your help to name these three.  At this point, I’m assuming two males and a female but hey, maybe we can come up with some neutral names to cover all three.  Think outside the box.  Sure, Larry, Moe and Curly (get it, Curly?) are good but I like the unique…obviously.

Also, to support my Insect Education program for local schools, please visit this link and donate whatever you can to bring insect education to local Queensland schools.