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Stick Insect

Stick Insect

Stick Insect
Stick Insect
Photographer - Denis J. Crawford
Source - Graphic Science

Didymura violescens

These insects are truly masters of disguise, adapted perfectly to their environment, with camouflage that renders them almost invisible to all but the most observant onlooker.

The life cycle of these animals is fascinating, and takes place over two years.

The eggs of the stick insect are laid by the females within the tree-tops, however the final resting place of each egg may be hundreds of feet below! Once laid, the eggs plummet earthward, bouncing off branches until they finally hit the ground. The small seedlike eggs can then spend up to 20 months in the leaf litter before hatching, which usually takes place during November and December.

The emerging nymphs have a strong instinct to climb, which takes them up to the tender tips of the eucalypt branches. The nymphs look like tiny spindly versions of the adults. They feed voraciously on the leaves and grow quickly.

Stick insects grow by shedding their exoskeletons numerous times before becoming sexually mature adults.

Adults generally appear during January, and females are able to lay eggs within weeks of maturing. Adult stick insects may live till June, females producing hundreds of individual eggs during this short life.

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