Eurycantha calcarata

Giant Stick Insect

The Giant Stick Insect can be found in the rainforests of New Guinea, New Caledonia and the Solomon Islands.

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Length 15 cm
Lifespan 1.5 years
Diet Leaves
Habitat Forests
IUCN Red List Status
Not evaluated
Data deficient
Least concern
Near threatened
Critically endangered

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Giant Stick Insect is a species that belongs to the Walkingstick family, with a long and slender body similar to its relatives. It has spines along its body, 6 legs and its color can vary from green to brown. Its body shape allows it to camouflage among dry leaves and branches. Females are generally larger than males and have an egg-depositing organ (ovipositor) at the end of the abdomen that differentiates them from males.



During the day this insect remains hidden, motionless, in the trees or in the leaves of the dead blanket. During the night it is more active, and it is during this period when it feeds. It has strong jaws, which allow it to cut vegetation and chew on plants. They usually live in communities and use camouflage and thanatosis (the act of feigning death) as an anti-predator strategy.



In this species, males actively compete for females. After copulation, the female uses the ovipositor (egg-depositing organ) to lay the eggs on the ground. Metamorphosis is incomplete, and the nymphs hatch after about 4 months, measure about 3cm and take 4 to 6 months to reach maturity.

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