SizeUp to 8 inches (20 cm) in length
RangeAustralia and New Guinea
HabitatEucalyptus trees and forests
- A very large, ornate walking stick insect.
- The color and shape of the body camouflage patterns can change slowly to best match the environment. Males are smaller and slimmer-bodied than females. Both sexes have wings, but in the vast majority of cases, only the males are light enough to fly effectively.
- Up to 8 inches (20 cm) in length.
One defense of the giant prickly stick insect is spraying a chemical deterrent. This chemical deterrent is off-putting to most predators, but to humans is surprisingly pleasant. Anecdotally, the scent is similar to toffee or chocolate.
Diet / Feeding
- Herbivores; diet consists of leaves, those in their natural range will survive solely on eucalyptus leaves.
Range / Habitat
- Occurs naturally in Australia and New Guinea, though bred for home terrariums and hobbyists all over the world.
- Found primarily in eucalyptus trees and forests.
Reproduction & Growth
- Eggs resemble seeds, and are encased in a protein-rich layer. Spider ants collect the eggs and bring them back to the colony, where the outer layer is eaten and the rest of the egg is left.
- Once the egg hatches, the nymph, resembling a spider ant, is able to quietly leave the colony unbothered and climb into the trees.
- “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List.
- Like all walking sticks, the level of camouflage displayed by the giant prickly stick allows it to become virtually invisible to passing creatures – with the exception of natural predators like mantids.
- Defenses include flying away (males) and rearing into a scorpion-like threat posture (females) and spraying a chemical deterrent (both).
- This chemical deterrent is off-putting to most predators, but to humans is surprisingly pleasant. Anecdotally, the scent is similar to toffee or chocolate.
- This species is also known as the Australian walking stick.
- Many species of walking sticks can regenerate lost limbs.