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Stick Insects Species and Genral Care

Introduction
There are approximately 3000 species of stick insects in the world. Stick insects have become a popular pet to keep at home and in school. On this page, I will go through the care of stick insects and rate them on difficulty. These stick insects I write about are ones I recommend for beginners , or are the most popular and frequently kept species. 



 

Giant Bean Insect(Diapherodes Gigantea) 

Giant Bean Insects( Scientific name, Diapherodes Gigantea) are giant species of stick insect.  They are relatively easy to keep. Care rating( 1 being really easy, 10 being difficult) is about a 3.

Physical Description: Females are thicker and bulkier, measuring up to 16cm in length and only have wing buds, no wings. They have pinkish spikes on their mesothorax and metathorax.( check insect external part page for more information).  Males are brownish in colours,unlike females which are light green. They have wings like fans, and grow to 11cm. Their antennae are bigger than the females and reach a massive 8cm!

Enclosure: They can be kept in a tall terrarium or vivarium as adults. As nymphs, I suggest that they are kept in a small net as young nymphs could fall from a tall height and will die, especially in a terrarium or vivarium.  Add logs and perches to allow stick insects to hang upside down and shed. Temperature ranges from 20 to 23 degrees.

Food Plants: Giant Bean Insects feed on Bramble, Blackberry and Rose. Spray food plants once a day. Ensure you wash the food plants thoroughly to ensure that other insects do not remain on your food plants.  

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Giant bean insect.jpg

Female:  Avocado

Male:

Stanley

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Giant Bean Insect Ova: They can lay a lot of eggs. Around 100 from the time they become mature adults. 

Giant Prickly Stick Insect(Extatosoma Tiaratum). Also referred to as the Maycleays Spectre. 

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Macyleas Spectres Ova. 

Prickly Stick insect( also known  as Maycleas Spectres), and Latin name ( Extasoma tiartaum) are one of the most popular species of stick insects kept. It has a tail which is often related to a Scorpion , but fear not,  they are harmless and very interesting. 

Difficulty rating: 4/10. Easy and hardy, but can be delicate as nymphs.

Enclosure: Vivariuams are a good enclosure but nets are also acceptable. They have to be tall and wide to allow space to shed and move around. It's important not to overcrowd stick insects too much otherwise limbs can fall off during the shedding process. A good size for a group of stick insects would be 30x30x30 or 40x40x40, but bigger  enclosures are also good, just not for fragile nymphs.   They do not need a heat mat, unless the daytime and nighttime temperature is lower than 20 degrees. I would recommend keeping them away from areas with a lot  of draft. 

Physical Description: They come in a range of colours from sandy brown, to dark brown, and even can come in a lichen morph. This morph can only be achieved by placing the eggs in the enclosure with lichen, so when they hatch they will take on the colour of the lichen. Lichen must be kept in there at all times in order for the stick insect to keep the morph.

 

Food plants: Bramble, Blackberry and Privet, Rasperry, Oak and Eucalyptus .

maycleas Spectres .jpg
Maycleas spectre.jpg

Lichen Morph

L2 Nymph

Vietnamese stick insect (Ramulus  Artemis) 

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Physical Description: These are often confused for the common Indian Stick insect( also known as the laboratory insect), and scientific name ( Carausius Morosus). The reason being, Vietnamese Stick Insects( Ramulus Artemis) have a similar slender shape. However, they grow up to a massive 15cm and Indian Stick Insects grow to a mere 8cm. No males are kept in captivity, only females. The females produce eggs by parthenogenesis( producing eggs without a male). 

Difficulty Rating: 3/10.  A really easy and hardy species to keep. A good alternative stick insect for someone new to the hobby. 

Enclosure:  A large net enclosure is most suitable , or a tall vivarium. 45cmx30cmx30 cm is an ideal size for a small group, but for larger numbers it's best to go bigger. Their average temperature is approximately 20 degrees, 18 at night, but ensure in a really cold room, or cold weather that the enclosure is at least 23. If you choose to use a heat mat to boost up the heat, that's fine, as their highest temperature range is 28 degrees. 

Food Plants:    Bramble, Blackberry, Rose, Oak, but unlike the  Indian Stick insect they CAN NOT eat ivy.

Pink Winged stick insects(Sipyloidea Sipylus) 

Physical Description: Light green as nymphs, but turn a light brown as they progress to the adult stage. They sprout wings and remind me of little fairies. Mainly produce pathogenically(producing eggs without males). This is because most of this species is actually female. 

Difficulty Rating: 2/10. An attractive and easy species to care for. 

Enclosure:  A large net or glass tank. ust ensure the tank has logs for extra support moving around a big tank. Can be placed with other that eat the same foodplants.  Temperature 18 to 19 degrees Celsius 

Food Plants:    Bramble, Blackberry, Rose, Oak,Hawthorn. 

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L1 Pink Winged Nymph 

Pink Winged Adult 

Black Beauty( Peruphasma Schultei)
 

Difficulty rating: 3/10. Easy and hardy, even as nymphs.

Enclosure: I highly recommend a wooden net box or net. As nymphs use a smaller net, and as they age upgrade the net to a tall one. It is crucial they have enough space in order to shed successfully. 

Physical Description: Black and have red wing buds, which pop out from the thorax. They however can not fly! All black beauties in captivity are female and produce via Pathogenesis. 

 

Food plants: Bramble, Privet .

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Adult

Ova

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