Fascinating Garden Visitors -Stick Insects

 

Every year our garden is visited by the amazing Titan Stick Insect (Acrophylla Titan) and its usually found in the guava tree doing its best at really looking like a branch of the tree.  It is about 25 cm long and takes quite an observant eye to spot.

They usually feed on the eucalyptus tree, a large specimen of which is nearby, but they will also eat the foliage of other backyard plants such as roses, Lilly-Pilly and Guava.

If you are pruning these trees, look out for them because they just sit in the branches and sway to look just like the movement of the tree.  They extend their front legs out together to elongate their shape and make them look even longer.IMG_20160405_153756-Stick insect 2

This species is found all along the eastern coast of Australia. They have two pairs of wings that they hold close to their bodies and although the males fly well the female wings are smaller and cannot fly.

The female drops small, oval grey eggs into the leaf litter and the nymphs start the life cycle again.

Looking at the picture below you can appreciate how wonderful the camouflage is in the mottling and the segmentation of its body. At the top you can just make out the dark edge of the wing folded close to the body.

IMG_20160408_132242-stick insect close

Below is picture showing the wings of the Titan stick insect and its absolutely amazing how well they can collapse the wings so inconspicuously onto the body.

Acrophylla_titan_pinned

Source: BJinsect at English Wikipedia

 

IMG_20131020_082616-stick insect on a rose
This stick insect on  a rose bush in winter nearly felt the secateurs

If you are pruning look out for the humble stick insect a great example of  nature’s camouflage.

We went out today and it is gone. We were so fortunate to get a chance to look at this amazing creature while it stopped in for a visit.

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