Ecuadorian Stick Insect (Oreophoetes spp.)
Walking Stick insects are among the largest insects in the world reaching over 12″ in length. Most stick inects are tropical and nocturnal. During the day, many of them lie dormant surrounded by the sticks and leaves they resemble. The Phasimid order currently contains over 2,500 walking stick species worldwide.
Most female stick insects lack wings and tend to be geographically localized. In some species, this lack of mobility can result in defoliation of the chosen food plants. A number of stick insect species are capable of parthenogenesis; if no males are available to fertilize eggs, viable female offspring will be produced. Males are usually winged which allows for distribution of populations. Males are also know to stay coupled with females for considerable duration to ensure their own genes are responsible for egg fertilization. Some species are capable of altering their coloration. During the day they will appear lighter green, switching to a darker mode for their active nocturnal period. This Ecuadorian species displays a conspicuous red and black coloration.