During Christmas last year my family were given some young giant prickly stick insects. They were in a nymph form, which means they are an immature form of an insect that does not change much as it develops. In the mid-year holidays one of them sadly passed away, but we have been able to watch the others slowly grow into adulthood.
To provide some more background, these insects are not native to Western Australia. The male insects only live for 6 – 9 months and comparatively the females live 9 – 18 months, substancially longer lifespan.
Recently we lost our only male. We are optimistic that new male will hatch from one of the eggs currently in the terrarium. Most of the eggs hatch after 4 to 6 months but sometimes can take up to 12 months.
Giant Prickly Stick Insects are sexual and asexual meaning the females can still hatch eggs without mating. However, the asexual eggs can only be female.
These insects are extremely fun and easy to care for. They eat any eucalyptus leaves, replaced regularly once a week. Their enclosure needs a couple of sprays of water per day. I believe that these insects belong at the school and are perfect for study in the following areas; Art, Science and Bush Rangers. As it allows for creative designs in art, entomology (the study of insects) in science and for conservation activities for bush rangers.