Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Macleay's Spectre, Spiny Stick, Walking Insect

Female of Macleay's Spectre, Extatosoma tiaratum,
feeding on eucalypt leaves

These insects are popular pets, as they are easy to rear and spectacular to look at.  The spines which give this insect its alternative common name of "spiny stick insect' are harmless, although they may make for an uncomfortable mouthful for a predator.  The eggs of this species and of other stick insects closely resemble the seeds of plants, and are dropped by the female as she feeds.  Males are slender and much smaller than females, and they have long, functional wings.  This Australian insect is now found in captive breeding colonies all over the world.

Photo Stuart Humphres: Australian Museum

This postcard was bought in Australia in 2012 for $2.50.  

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