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 Stick Insect  Stick Insects

Photo  Copyright 2008 Gary Bradley

Latin name: Carausius morosus

Size: Length approx. 80mm.

Found mainly in the south of England and the Channel Islands.

Months seen: May to October.

Habitat: Hedgerows, gardens and roadsides.

Food: Bramble or privet.

Special features: Indian Stick Insects as the name suggests originate from Asia. They are one of four species of stick insects which have been inadvertently released into the UK countryside from private collections. The other three species are the Prickly Stick-insect (Acanthoxyla geisovii), the Unarmed Stick-insect (Acanthoxyla inermis), and the Smooth Stick-insect (Clitarchus hookeri).

Indian Stick insects are normally killed off by frosts, but mild winters in recent years are allowing their numbers to increase.

Their bodies are coloured either olive green, yellow-green or brown. When mature their undersides have a pink flush and the insides of their front legs can be a pale red colour. The antennae are as long as the legs.

Photo  Copyright 2008 Gary Bradley

Stick insects are mainly active at night, and live for about one year. During their life they will go through six skin moults.

Indian stick insects are parthenogenetic, which means they can reproduce without mating. Females lay one or two eggs each day, and can produce hundreds during their short lifespan. The eggs hatch within eight to fifteen weeks depending on the air temperature.

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UK Safari Creepy-crawlies Section

  2008 G. Bradley. All Rights Reserved