Video source missing

Spiny Stick Bug Eggs

In News by Robin Snieder

Spiny Stick Bug (Extatosoma tiaratum)

A type of stick insect found in Australia, the Spiny Stick bug is a very well-camouflaged insect designed to look like a cross between a prickly stick and a dead leaf. Like all stick insects, the females will lay hundreds of eggs one at a time, which they simply let fall to the forest floor. The eggs themselves are encased in a hard outer shell that makes them look and feel a lot like a seed. On top of that, the egg is also designed to attract ants who gather the eggs thinking they’re food, and carry them to their underground next. The stick insects benefit from having the protection of the ant colony and being tucked away safely underground. The ants don’t eat the entire egg, and so the tiny stick insect can safely hatch about 8 – 12 months later. However, now the baby stick insect (nymph) has the problem of having to dodge 1000’s of ants inside the colony that would also love to devour the baby stick bug! Young Spiny Stick insects are amazing ant mimics so that they look and act like ants long enough to fool the ant colony into thinking it’s one of their own, and run above ground and up into the trees where it will generally spend the rest of its life. After another 8 months or so, the young stick insect becomes either an adult male or female. Males are smaller and thinner with large wings, but females are larger and only have a small pair of modified wings to imitate leaves and aid in their camouflage.