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Prickly Stick Insects

Prickly Stick Insects
Photo Information
Copyright: Steve Reekie (LordPotty) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1381 W: 144 N: 3872] (12503)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-07-30
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon Powershot SX10IS
Exposure: f/8, 1/10 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2010-07-30 6:25
Viewed: 8010
Points: 22
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Prickly Stick Insects

Stick insects belong to the insect order Phasmatodea – the name comes from the Greek word ‘phasm’, meaning phantom. The order includes about 3,000 species worldwide, with most diversity around the tropics. New Zealand’s temperate climate supports more than 20 described species of stick insect.
Stick insects look and behave like twigs or leaves to avoid being eaten. Also known as walking sticks, they come in a wide range of colours, textures and sizes, although they are all well disguised in their natural habitat. Their main predators are birds that hunt by sight. As a result of natural selection, and pressure from birds and other hunters, stick insects have evolved a suite of extraordinary features, structures and behaviours.
During the day most stick insects sit where they are least visible. Although some eat, they generally remain still, move very slowly, or sway like leaves in the wind. At dusk and at night they are more active, seeking out their preferred leaves to eat. Adults of the small spiny stick insect (genus Micrarchus) often move down to the base of the ribbonwood trees they feed on. They hide among the fallen twigs and leaves, while green nymphs of this species stay among the foliage.

New Zealand’s largest stick insect, Argosarchus horridus, often settles where there are fewest leaves but lots of twigs in the trees it feeds on. Females can be up to 20 centimetres long. Adults of the all-female variable stick insect (genus Acanthoxyla) lie along twigs where foliage is most dense. Species of the alpine genus Niveaphasma live among the tangled branches of Muehlenbeckia species.
Different stick insect species prefer particular plants. The bristly stick insect (Argosarchus horridus) eats ramarama and ribbonwood. Niveaphasma eat Muehlenbeckia. Stick insects of the genus Clitarchus eat kānuka and mānuka. Endemic stick insects (those unique to New Zealand) will eat a range of plants, either native (pōhutukawa, rātā) or not (blackberry, raspberry). Acanthoxyla stick insects eat a range of native plants, but are unusually fond of the exotic macrocarpa and cedar trees commonly found in urban areas.

I found these large females,presumably survivors from last summer,in an exotic yew tree in a suburban garden.
Can you count how many there are ?

albert, Argus, marhowie, ramthakur, haraprasan, jlinaresp, Dis. Ac., boreocypriensis has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To ramthakur: Sort of luckyLordPotty 1 07-30 16:08
To albert: Stick InsectsLordPotty 1 07-30 06:47
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Steve,
Very good presentation of these aliens under good camouflage, interesting note too
I counted 5 of them ?

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2010-07-30 6:55]

Hello Steve,
Nice to see you back too!
After some scrutiny, your fine DOF has allowed my to see all 5 of these remarkable endemic insects. Their features are well shown despite the camouflage on the plants. Interesting to see how they position their long legs to mimic the twigs.
Thanks and have a good weekend,

hello steve,
i have never seen these insects, i can see perfect camouflage here and you have captured beautifully in the natural habitat of these insects, liked the pov,
tfs & regards

Ciao Steve, great camouflage for strange bugs, fine details, wonderful natural colors, splendid sharpness, very well done my friend, ciao Silvio

Invasion of the stick insects - arghhh!!
Giant, prickly, and green..what a "horridus" thought ;-))
Cool shot Steve!

So many of them at one place, Steve.
This is a sheer stroke of good luck.
These creatures merge so well with the background.

Namastay Steve,

What a sight. So many thorny stick insects in one frame. Very good capture. Very well composed with good details. Thanks a lot for sharing.


Hello Steve friend,
heavens! this seems an image of science-fiction movie! ... "The invasion of the greens ".... ha ha ha:)
Amazing insects, and photograph in the fern has created a very striking sight. Good work, with a very eloquent POV for this scene. TFS, Regards, Happy WE. Jesús

Good Morning Steve!

Impressive in every way! Love the POV and details of this shot. The stick insects looks perfectly camoflaged.
Well spotted.
TFS and have a nice WE!


Hi Steve,

i had to look twice and these insects I have never been before.
Great pov and fine green colours.
What a camouflage!


amazing camouflage, greetings Ori

wow so many together in a group amazing!

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