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Cultural Entomology: Walking Sticks

Phasma gigas female from Papua New Guinea, photo by the Bug Chicks

Call them what you want- stick insects, walking sticks or stick bugs – we call them masters of camouflage! Insects in the Order Phasmatodea look and behave like plants and hide from even the most intrepid entomologists. 

Have you had any experiences with walking sticks?  Ever had one lose a leg in your hand or spray you from repugnatorial glands?  Witnessed the amazing behavioral camouflage movements of these insects?  We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Join the discussion

  1. nobugs

    It’s not easy to be funny *and* educational. You’ve got it nailed. Keep up the good work!

  2. Sam

    We recently had (what I believe was) a Goliath stick insect on the back of our car in the Northern Territory of Australia, that was around 30+ cm in length.

    It refused to come off the car and stayed attached for the duration of a 15 minute car ride. When I go to my home suburb I (gently) flicked it off at a park, as I was worried that my dogs would kill it if I took it all the way home.

    Two days later, my dogs were fascinated by what I believe was THE EXACT SAME stick insect that had made its way to the front fence of my house.

    Do stick insects have some type of mechanism for ‘homing’ that would have allowed it to find my house more than 1KM away from where I left it at the park???

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