Tag Archives: weird bugs

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).


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


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.


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


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. 




The naming of the Spiny’s!

21 Sep

So, quick post to update everyone on what I decided to call my three gorgeous Spiny Leaf’s. I’d like to thank everyone who had suggestions, either here or on Facebook, but I’ve decided on the following:


This beautiful girl will be called Lucy. Partly because my daughter Charlie came up with it on her own and also, to pay homage to an Aunt of mine (yes, named Lucy) who is the polar opposite of me when it comes to insects.  So, what’s funnier than naming one after her?


This guy will be named Ricky. And for those of you old enough, you’ll know why. But as a funny aside, my uncle, who is married to my Aunt Lucy, is also named Rick! Funny, huh?


And, last but not least, this guy shall be named Groot.  Thanks again to my pal Michael on this suggestion. If you’ve seen the movie Guardians of the Universe, this choice will be a Keanu Reeves ‘whoaaaa’ moment.

So, there you have them.  All named and feeding happily on eucalypts in their home in my office.  And besides probably being annoyed with me for wanting to hold them a hundred times a day, they seem to be relaxing into their new space.

Strange Insects — Quiz

11 Aug

Every once in a while, I’ve come across something that just baffles me. (I mean besides why they don’t put more jam in jam doughnuts.) But, without having a background in anything related to entomology, it’s sometimes a challenge to figure out what it is.  See, those experienced in the field can look at a number of things to at least narrow it down to an order.  I’m getting better at it but, as you’ll see, some are just plain confusing.  (But, if you’re a follower of the blog, these might not be that hard 😉 )

Can you guess what is what?









Now, match these letters up to the picture you think belongs with it.

A. Pollen and nectar feeding katydid

B. Rhinoceros beetle larvae

C. Early instar of an owl fly

D. Giant huntsman on my face

E. Whip spider

F. Bird-dropping (Death’s head) spider

G. Mountain Katydid

H. Lady bug (beetle) larvae

Post your answers in the comments below or on Facebook.  Answers will be revealed in tomorrow’s post.  I will announce the person(s) that got the most correct.

*All photos property of Lisa Vankula-Donovan unless otherwise stated.**

What is it?

7 Aug

This little guy was found on one of my children’s stuffed toys. As most lovers of all things creepy crawly can attest to, we pretty much know the creatures that share our humble abodes…but this guy was new to me.

I was able to guess it straight away. Can you?


Hello out there, there, there…

9 Jan

So, I know, it’s been a while.  Look, I am sooooooo not a fan of bloggers who blog and then don’t, and blog and then don’t.  And I honestly never thought I’d go this long without posting but if you must know, I’m a woman of many, many, many interests-too many, if you ask my husband.  Sometimes, others take precedence and right now I happen to be training for my first (tiny, beginner, don’t get too excited for me) triathlon.  And let me tell you that between three children and swimming, running or cycling 5-6 days a week, (oh yeah, there is all that laundry and cleaning and shopping and sleeping) I just could not have been bothered to sit down and post a darn thing.

But here I am.  Because I’m a glutton for punishment…from myself.  What does that make me?

Anyway, I wanted to share a few pictures I’ve taken over the last few weeks-don’t get too excited, I used the iPhone.  But, now that we here in the Land Down Unda are in summer, there are more and more things to find.  I’ll let you know what everything is but I’ll leave the last picture a mystery for another post.  Any guesses?

Just a hole, right?

Just a hole, right?



Well, hi there!

Well, hi there!

I’m guessing (well, hoping)  the above is a Trapdoor Spider.  (Yes, they’re as cool as they sound.) He looks a bit different from the ones I’ve seen so I’m not sure if he’s a juvenile or something else altogether.  There is one that looks sort of like this that I found in the US and is named after the singer Neil Young, true story.  How cool would that be? Find a new species and get to name it after something you love!  My find would be something like, Insecta Wineandpickles.  Anyway, I’ll do more on this guy as I find out more.  Stay tuned!

Blue Eyes Damselfly

Blue Eyes Damselfly

Shield/Stink bug.

Shield/Stink bug.

That Shield bug actually fell out of a tree and into the inside lens of my sunglasses.  My friend I was with remarked how insects were even falling out of the trees for me…they know me too well.

photo (2)

And here’s the mystery insect.  I found this guy near drowning on the side of the kids’ pool.  I wish I had a better picture than this but when he finally came to and started moving, he was quick, and very cooly robotic!  Not smooth movements but a bit punctuated.  His hind legs, as you can see are much longer and when properly standing, sit like a grasshopper’s.  I will tell you this is not related to a grasshopper but I’ll leave the rest up to you to find out…if you can.  Otherwise, look for my post on it.  And yes, I had to ask for help.  I couldn’t figure this guy out, although I did guess the correct type of insect and family.  

So, good luck!  I’ll try to do another post in a couple of days in between reality shows, I mean, naps, no, I mean after my training.  😉




What is it?

21 Nov

Today’s post is a good one.  In my daily insect search through the yard’s bushes and trees, I spotted this.

november macro 034

The hubby voted that it was bird poop and had quite a laugh at me taking a thousand photos of it.  You more experienced ‘wannabes’ out there might be able to get this one.  I had two guesses and one was way off.

I’ll give you a shot of one side and the other side.  And the only thing I can tell you was that it did not move…at all.  I blew on it, waved the leaf around, nothing.  (That poop guess was starting to loom over me.) This was all before and during the photo shoot.  I’ll add the rest of the story in the follow-up post.

Here’s another angle.


november macro 035