We had a bit of wind yesterday and look what blew in.
With my trusty 8 year old at hand he rushed in to collect his BUGS Bible and begin searching. This is a fantastic book – a 3D cover makes it a delight to hold and makes a noise when you rub it.
So we did some flicking, found what we needed but not a lot of information, so it was onto the web we went.
It turns out that it’s name is Living Twig – Austrocarausius Mercurius. No kidding!
Their body shape, colour and little bumps on their surface all help to make this species to bled in to their surroundings. If disturbed they will let go of the branch they are clinging to and fall to the forest floor. This one remained motionless for ages with arms outstretched above and then dropped low as if to play dead. Great survival technique!
She is about 20cm in body length, her arms are extra!
This is all good but why am I taking the effort to even write about this creature? Well you would not believe it but there seem to be an absence of photos of Stick Insect poo. Yep you read right, this morning we woke to find a trail of what could have been a replica stick egg.
An amazing fact about many stick insects is that they are parthenogenetic. This means that females don’t need to be mated to reproduce. So if you only have a single female, she can still produce young – replicas of herself. Girl power!
I proceeded to learn many interesting things about stick insects and their eggs and the weird people online who are obsessed with them. No, definitely not an egg. There are some great posts on eggs but not enough on poo or droppings.
So, here you go. A female Living Twig 20cm in length, produces droppings about 8mm and plenty of them! Here are just a few.
Now I shall twinge a little more when she gets placed on my head by our 8yr old! He doesn’t seem to mind at all!
The last bit I found out about this particular insect is that it is only bred in captivity, so I guess I need to make a “FOUND – Living Twig” sign now 🙂
What did you do this weekend?