Did you know that there are some 3,000 different species of stick insects? On the island of Borneo alone, there are upwards of 300 recognized species. Stick insects are found everywhere except the Arctic and Antarctica. They thrive mainly in tropical and subtropical environments. Those of us who keep them as pets find them as fascinating in their diversity as they are in activity.
Here are the most common species kept as pets:
Indian Stick Insect
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The Indian stick insect is easily the most well-known among those species kept as pets. It is so prolific that it has earned the nickname ‘common stick insect’. The Indian species is routinely made available to schools and laboratories due to its limited care requirements. It is easily identified by its long, slender, green body.
Giant Prickly Stick Insect
If you are into imposing looking insects that you wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley, take a look at the giant prickly species. This particular species is an Australian native and features adults with large, curled abdomens. Young giant prickly specimens often look more like scorpions than stick insects.
Giant Spiny Stick Insect
The giant spiny is another fairly large stick insect with legs covered in spines. Its body is also more bulky than you might expect. Giant spiny sticks can be more interesting to observe because they don’t tend to live in the canopy. You are more likely to spot one on the floor of its enclosure.
Jungle Nymph Stick Insect
The jungle nymph is arguably the largest of all stick insect species. Females are generally bright green while males are more brownish. Jungle nymphs can reach up to 15 cm long in adulthood. They are fascinating to watch thanks to their size and color.
Less common species kept as pets include:
- Vietnamese stick insect
- leaf insect
- giant leaf insect
- Annam stick insect
- thorny stick insect.
Each stick insect species has its own characteristics. If you start with a species that ends up failing to impress you, no worries. You can always move on to a new species when that insect dies.
To that end, each of the articles listed below are lengthy explanations on relevant topics related to the breeding of stick insects as well as to looking after the eggs once laid.