Planning the first insect series: Giant prickly stick insect

Eitjes van de Australische Flappentak

Lately, I’ve been working on photographing and selecting as many different animals as possible. I started with mammals and have already added fish, bird and a snail species to the project. I hope that I can add a reptile and amphibian species as well soon. But I would also like to document the growth and development of an insect. I already did some research on little creatures in my garden and even started with some ladybug eggs, but my attempt to raise them, failed. Primarily, because their food, louse, would walk right out of their enclosure through the ventilation holes. Hopefully my next attempt with the Giant prickly stick insect will be more successful.

Giant prickly stick insect

The Giant prickly stick insect or Extatosoma tiaratum is a stick insect that looks more like a thorn branch or torn leaf and not so much a twig. Females can reach 15cm in length, while males stay a bit smaller, max. 10cm. Until a couple of weeks ago, I’ve never heard of this creature. How do you come up with the idea to photography their development, if you don´t know they exsist? That was a coincidence. I visited a large pet shop in Gouda because I wanted some more information on terrariums and gecko’s. I told to the shop assistant about my photography project and she advised me to also consider praying mantis, because their development is very interesting. While I was looking for some more information online, I came across a web shop that specializes in insects and insect supplies; ants, butterflies but also stick insects. On this website I discovered a Giant prickly stick insect breeding kit and I decided to order it.

Breeding kit

This week the breeding kit arrived by mail. It consists of a box with some air holes and a small tube with the eggs. The eggs are supposed to hatch after approximately two months. Caring for them shouldn’t be too difficult; they need to be kept in a warm and humid place. I’m curious to see if this will work and what the little prickly stick insects will look like!

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