Tag Archives: stick insects

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 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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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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Cigar Stick insect molting

15 Aug

Last night I discovered my Cigar Stick insect (Cigarrophasma tessellatum) molting. I’ve raised quite a few insects that molt, but have only been lucky enough to see it a handful of times. I left it alone for most of it, since I’m always paranoid my presence will stress it out. So, here’s a picture of it molting, and then a few after pictures, with a couple from when it was smaller.

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Meet the new kids on the block

26 Jun

Just a quick post to introduce you all to my latest additions to the creepy crawly family.

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Top left: Fire-back Huntsman (Beregama cordata)
Top right: Cigar Stick insect nymph (Cigarrophasma tessellatum)
Bottom right: Giant Burrowing Cockroach nymph (Macropanesthia rhinoceros)
Bottom right: Wuelfing Stick insect nymph (Acrophylla wuelfingi)

I’ll be doing some follow-up posts with more in-depth information on all these guys, as well as on their progress and growth.

Child-like Curiosity

6 Jan

“I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

I was reminded today about the natural curiosity of children.  A reader wrote a very kind comment on one of my posts that had pictures of the kids holding all kinds of insects.

It’s been a bit of a rough few weeks for me so it was nice to have a reminder to sit back and enjoy the little things, literally.  So, after taking a look back through the old post (that you can find HERE) I thought I’d do a similar post.

And can I just preface this by saying that Grace, the little girl wearing goggles, almost bolted for the door when she first came into my bug room. But the proof is in the pudding; however you behave around things you fear, is exactly how your kids will learn to react.

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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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and #3 (Hallelujah!)

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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.