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Walking Stick Insects

By Edited Sep 5, 2015 1 2

walking stick insects(99219)

Interesting Information Regarding Walking Stick Insects

Discover their Habitat, Diet Facts and Predators

There are several thousand species of walking stick insects, which are commonly kept as pets by individuals or in school classrooms.  It's pretty easy to tell how this breed of insect got its name, simply by looking at a picture of it.  Even though walking stick insects are routinely kept as pets, they can become ecological pests if they are released into the wild.  That's why it's important to have a safe home for them, if you choose to have one as a pet.

Species and Diet Facts
There is a lot of interesting information regarding walking stick insects.  As I mentioned earlier, there are several thousand different species of this bug.  Three of the most common are:
 
*Indian Walking Stick, also known as the Common Laboratory Stick
*Annam Walking Stick
*Giant Prickly Stick

All of these species of walking stick insects are non poisonous and have a plant based diet, which is common for this type of insect.  Their main sources of food include:

*Ivy
*Lettuce
*Privet
*Blackberry bushes, also known as bramble
*Oak
*Roses
*Hawthorn
*Strawberry leaves

Habitat
Walking stick insects are commonly kept as pets, most notably in school classrooms as a class pet.  This is because they're very easy to care for and are pretty harmless.  Also, they have a lifespan of about a year, so they're easy to replace for each school year.

If you have a single walking stick insect, it can be kept in a cup or small container for a short period of time.  However, make sure there's a firm cover on it so it can't escape.  Also make sure there are breathing holes, so it doesn't suffocate.

As your pet grows larger, or if you have numerous walking stick insects as pets, you'll need to get a large container or tank.  They can range from 3 to 30 centimeters in length.  It's recommended to use either soil or newspaper on the bottom of the tank, with soil being the best choice because it replicates their natural habitat.  Most walking stick insects don't consume a lot of water, but some should still be provided.

Predators
The natural habitat of walking stick insects are mainly forests, jungles, and rainforests.  Because of this, their main predators are birds, small reptiles, and rodents.  Their appearance provides a natural camoflage, which is used to hide from their predators.  They can also remain motionless for hours, which is a technique they use when being attacked.  It looks like they're dead, plus they blend in with their surroundings, which helps them fool their enemies.

Ecological and Plant Pests
Non-native walking stick insects should not be released into the wild, because they can become ecological pests.  First of all, they can lay up to 1,500 eggs at a time, which causes overpopulation.  If they're not in their native environment, this can lead to a lot of plant damage.  This has become a very serious issue and it's recommended that you dispose of all eggs if necessary.  

Walking stick insects can be great pets, as long as they're cared for properly by providing them with the appropriate diet and habitat.  However, these insects do reproduce quickly, so it's important to monitor this.  Believe it or not, females don't even need a male to reproduce.  The babies are mostly a clone of the female, which is why male walking stick insects are very rare.  If you have them as a pet, it's important to keep this in mind.  Your two or three walking stick insects can easily turn into a couple hundred before you know it!

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Comments

May 22, 2012 4:42am
eileen
I used to love these little guys but we called them praying mantis. Think it is the same family Interesting article and facts
May 22, 2012 5:35am
thinkwrite17
This was interesting and informative. I had no idea what these insects ate until reading this article.
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