Hi, I am a Walking Stick, and it’s very hard to find me or take photos of me. You are thinking why is it hard to find me, it’s because I look like a stick and blend into the my surroundings! We are an insect but like I said we are well known for our awesome camouflage.
We have many names, such as the Stick Bug, Walking Stick, Bug Stick, Ghost Insect, Leaf Insects or Phasmids. There are over three thousand species of us, and we are found in all continents except Antarctica. We inhabit forests, bushes, grasslands, and small trees. We are from 1 to 14 inches long, but our pretty females are larger than our males. We can be black, green or brown in color.
Many of us can change our color to our body by blending with the colors of our surrounding. We have lichen like markings on some of our bodies. Our cylindrical stick shape of our flattened leaf like bodies help us to look like leaves, or a twig. We do love to eat leaves and stems of various plants. Our natural enemies are mammals and birds that love to eat insects.
We are nocturnal, and are active during the night. We can lay motionless on branches and leaves, and what we are great at is moving back and forth mimicking how leaves and tree branches move from the breeze. We have one pair of antennas on the top of our head, two pairs of wings, and three pairs of legs, but there are Walking Sticks that do not have any wings at all.
We are very cool at detaching one of our legs when we need to make a quick escape when we are threatened. Our limbs regenerates during our next molting phase. Also, when we feel threatened we will pretend to be dead until our threats are gone, but most of us are able to release bad tasting liquid which is a foul smelling substance or release a chemical spray that can blind the predator for a while.
Females lay 100 to 1,200 eggs and scatter them on the ground, and many predators will not eat them because they look like seeds. The lifecycle for us consists of three stages, egg, nymph and then becoming an adult insect. I have to say goodbye right now, I see a bird looking at me, and it does look hungry. I hope you look for me during the summer and I do hope you do some more reading about me. We are really cool insects in the way we look, too. Bye for now.