Stick Insect Care

General care instructions for Stick Insects.

These are generalist care instructions please refer to species specific instructions for individual species. These can be found alongside each species for sale on the site.


There are over 3000 species of stick insect out there. Some are more common in the hobby than others. Common species include the Indian Stick Insect, Pink Winged, Giant Spiny, Thorny and Black Beauty. There are also some really unusual species such as the Macleay's Spectre, Lime Green and Peruvian Fire Stick Insect. Most species can live happily together depending on what food plant they rely on.


TEMPERATURE

17-25 C, Most species do well at room temperature, however some like a little more humidity.

LIGHTING

Well lit enclosures.

Avoid direct sunlight

HOUSING

The general rule is 3 times the length of the stick insect. This is because they hang from their food to shed their skin. Glass, plastic and netting are all fine. We would recommend a 30x30x30cm for most species, however you will need larger for the larger species.. Coir fibre, chemical free soil or sand are all good substrates and will help keep humidity in the environment. Paper towel is also ok and is easy to keep clean and spot eggs but will need changed more often. Humidity is species dependent. Most of the common species do ok in net cage with lower humidity but the more tropical species will need a higher humidity. Stick Insect do like to drink so spraying every few days will allow them to drink.

FEEDING

Most, if not all species of stick insect will feed on Bramble. Some species such as the Indian, Malaysian Pink Wing and Black Beauty will feed on privet. Macleay's Spectre and Lime Greens will take Eucalyptus and the Moss Mimics and Peruvian Fire Sticks will feed on fern. Ensure that you have a good food supply before purchasing, alternatively you can order fresh food from the website. Harvest from chemical free areas, away from the road side to prevent dirt and chemicals. We would advise putting fresh cut food into a small container of water. This will keep the food fresh and edible longer.

SEXING

Most stick insects require a male and female to breed. Often the female have a spike at the end of their abdomen called an ovipositor. Some species however can produce fertile eggs without mating. Most eggs take from 2 months to 1 year depending on the species. If you do not wish to be over run with stick insects we would recommend squishing or freezing any unwanted eggs (or send them to us, we are happy to take any eggs). Be aware that some species do need to bury their eggs so may need a deep substrate layer (5cm deep) or a pot of sandy-soil.


Example of some species:

GENERAL

Some species of stick insect such as the Peruvian fire or the black beauty can produce a chemical defense if threatened. This isn't hugely harmful but can irritate and smell. From time to time also stick insects can loose limbs. When young this is not a major issues as they can grow these back, however as adults they will not be able to. This can be caused by rough handling or postage handling or by fighting and over crowding.




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