Strong Stick Insect

Jo and I decided that we would head out looking for some Spiny Leaf Insects, sadly we didn't have any success, however as a consolation prize we did come across this bruiser - a Strong Stick Insect. I've come across these chaps before and they are far more common than you may suspect - but that doesn't detract from their 'wow' factor.

Anchiale briareus

Despite being large and as I mentioned fairly common they do have the most exquisite camouflage, in fact as we were looking at this lady, a male took wing and ponderously fluttered to another plant a short distance away - he was right in front of us, but we hadn't seen him.

Damn good stick imitation there ...

This insect took camouflage to the next level through her behaviour. As I was watching, she apparently decided she'd been rumbled and rather than try to make a run for it [something stick insects aren't renowned for], she abruptly straightened her legs and dropped to the long grass at my feet. If you didn't know any better you'd swear it was simply a dead twig falling from the bush - presumably a predator might assume the same thing.

Magnificent, despite having the least imaginative common name since the 'fruit fly'

I have, on a number of occasions, seen Kookaburras predate these insects - testament to both the birds eyesight and the relative commonality of the insects themselves. These are also another family of insects that are big in the pet trade - I'm not 100% sure why ... I mean, well ... they DO look and behave a lot like sticks [so why not just get a stick?].

I'm joking of course, they are fascinating creatures with their deliberate rocking movements and gentle disposition; I for one can see the attraction. Moreover, they make a hell of a lot more sense to me than owning a cat. They're clean, quiet, easy to care for, are hypo-allergenic, won't leave hair on your couch and don't eat native animals ... I rest my case.

Despite their slightly spiny appearance and sometimes large size, stick insects are completely harmless and they are easily damaged if handled carelessly. Should you come across one and want to handle it, place your open hand directly in the insects path and lightly stroke it's abdomen.

Once it has clambered onto your hand let it walk from palm to palm. After you've got your pics and enjoyed the moment, place them back in the same plant you found them on by simply letting them walk onto the most convenient twig or leaf - support them until at least four of their legs are on the plant and gently remove your hand


  1. Magnificent indeed. There is a population explosion of stickys in my garden right now. I am spellbound.

    That close up of the stick insect's face is exquisite. And your frog photos fall into the same category. The look on the jilted frog's face is classic. Poor fellow.

    1. Hi Holly, thanks for the lovely comments, I really appreciate you taking the time - and yeah, there is something about stick insects that just makes me pause - take stock, and realise that if they exist ... then what else eh?!

      Take care :)

    2. I know. They are just riveting. I will never tire of gawking at them. I guess they might tire of being gawked at though...

      And there are so many other miniature marvels around us, we just need to shift our perspective a little so we can notice them. Switch off the autopilot for a bit.

      I've even started dreaming about stick insects now too. Yay!

  2. Fantastic Stick Insects you have there.
    Denis Wilson

    1. Hi Denis, thanks for the comment and taking the time, enjoy your blog also - and yep, we're very lucky to have them around -

      Take care

  3. Wonderful blog!! I find stick and leaf insects fascinating! :)

  4. lol, great user name you have there! ... yep, I find them fascinating too - thanks for the comment, take care :)


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