Thursday, September 27, 2012

The walking stick

The walking stick, otherwise known as stick insect, stick bug, phasmids, ghost insects, or leaf insects, is an herbivore, living on leaves and other plant material. There are over 2,500 species. They are longer and thinner than the mantis, and are often confused as mantids. Although they fall under the subclass pterygoda, meaning winged insect, they have no wings. They go through three life stages: the female drops many eggs that land wherever in the autumn, nymphs emerge in the spring, and by summer they are adults. The female can reproduce without males, and the offspring will be clones of the female. They survive by camouflaging themselves to look like the twigs and branches they perch on, even mimicking the color of said branch.

As pets, they are easy to care for. Just try to imitate their natural environment with the proper humidity, temperature, and food. Handling is easy, as they are not aggressive, but are delicate and should be handled gently. The Indian walking stick is a popular classroom pet. They can be left alone for up to a week with no adverse affects.


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