Ecuadorian Stick Insect (Bacteria spp.)
Walking Stick insects are among the largest insects in the world reaching over 12″ in length. Most stick insects are tropical and nocturnal. During the day, many of them lie dormant surrounded by the sticks and leaves they resemble. The Phasmida order currently contains over 2,500 walking stick species worldwide.
As their Greek name, Phasma suggests, stick insects are truly apparitions – masters of blending in with the foliage. These large plant feeding insects are generally dormant during the day and active at night. The males or some species develop wings and occasionally fly to lights. These tropical insects are typically stick-like, with their legs spaced far apart on their elongated thorax. They drop their seed-like eggs individually to the ground where the nymphs hatch and crawl back up into the foliage. Stick insects are considered to be the longest insects reaching over 12 inches in the Pharnacia genus. This Ecuadorian species was clambering around during the day. Notice the spines lining the meso thorax.