Thursday, October 18, 2007

The other type of walking stick

Here's another beastie I found in the privacy of my own home. This one is a phasmid ie stick insect or, to americans, walking stick*. Once again I can't put you down to species level on this one. Phasmids are probably familiar to most of you through the parthnogenic Indian Stick Insect, Carausius morosus, that small green stick with legs you probably saw or kept as a child.


They are however a supercool and diverse group of insects many of which are easy to keep and culture generations of and make excellent pets for kids curious about the natural world. If you think these are boring check out the 18 inch titan, the day glow green superheavyweight female jungle nymph, the just-plain weird Macleays spectre or the beautiful but near invisible giant leaf insects and any number of giant, spiny, spikey, lumpy monsters.


This chap though is a fairly bland model 101 stick with legs. For information on stick insects check with the Phasmid Study Group. If you want pet insects try them or your local group of entomologists. Most of the big pet species are easily obtained as eggs for little or nothing from fellow hobbyists with successful cultures. Be aware of potential local agricultural pest restrictions though.

*Americans be wary handling local phasmids - at least one of your native sticks has a rather nasty chemical defence you don't want to be on the receiving end of.

1 comment:

Edward Baker said...

The Phasmid Study Group has a new website with lots of interesting information on phasmids.