One of our more popular bug ambassadors, the Giant Prickly Stick Insect, is not actually prickly, she just looks that way. It’s a great tactic to avoid being eaten; the irregular, serrated-leaf shape helps them to blend in with their surroundings.
Home Range: Northern Australia and New Guinea
Habitat: In eucalyptus trees
Wild Diet: Primarily eucalyptus leaves
Life Span: Females can live between 9-18 months and males 6-8 months.
Interesting Facts: The eggs of female Australian walking sticks look like seeds, which are tipped with a protein rich, fleshy part that encourages spider ants to carry them away to their colony. Once in the colony, the fleshy part of the egg is consumed and the seed is thrown in the colony’s waste pile, where the climate is perfect for incubation. When the nymph hatches from the egg, it greatly resembles the spider ant, especially when it positions its abdomen over its thorax. With its remarkable spider ant resemblance, the nymph is able to inconspicuously leave the colony and head for the trees!