Macleay's Spectre Stick Insects <i>(Extatosoma tiaratum)</i>
The male is 8 or 9 centimetres long and green. Its feelers are longer and its wings cover the abdomen completely. Males can fly.
MSSIs have a prickly appearance (hence the name: giant prickly stick insect). Alongside the flaps, in their back and belly, many small barbs can be seen (and felt).
With many types of stick insects, parthenogenesis occurs. This means that the animals reproduce without male intervention. It is not entirely clear whether this is also the case with the MSSI. According to some sources a male is needed to reproduce. Mating can last up to 24 hours. Shortly after, the male dies. Another source speaks of a female in a terrarium, which nevertheless lays eggs.
More about the Macleay's Spectre Stick Insect in the next newsletter: the development from egg till stick. Also: housing and feeding your stick.