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Stick Insect Care Sheet
There are nearly 3 000 species of Stick-Insect (Phasmida) in the world all of which feed exclusively on vegetation, they are one of the most popular forms of insect life to be kept as pets. They are very easy to house and are an affordable pet for the whole family to enjoy.
In general the more common species of Stick-Insect can be kept together though if you are breeding more difficult species then it pays to use separate cages to create individual requirements. They require a well vented cage and we have several stick insect cages that are suitable. We recommend the use of Kritter Crumble as a substrate for the base of youe enclosure.
Stick Insects feed primarily on Eucalyptus leaves and should have fresh leaves available at all times. Place small branches into a discarded drink bottle that is full of water to keep them fresh and moist. Stick Insects and the Eucalyptus leaves should be sprayed with water 2-5 times per day.
A number of species of Stick-Insect are parthenogenetic (i.e. the females lay unfertilised eggs which hatch into females which will also lay unfertilised eggs etc.) while the majority of species go in for a more normal male female system. All Stick-Insects lay eggs, some just drop them onto the ground, some sick them under tree bark or into crevices and some bury them in the ground. If you keep the burying species such as the Spiny Stick-Insect you will need to ensure a container of damp substrate, about 2 inches deep in the bottom of the cage once the females are adult. Stick-Insect eggs can take from between 2 months and a year to hatch depending on species, in general the larger species are the ones which take longest though not always.
You can either not bother cleaning out the cage floor and let the sticks hatch as they want or you can collect the eggs each time you clean the cage and keep them in separate containers un
til they hatch. In this case the eggs of the burying species will need to be gently reburied about 1cm deep, and the rest will need to be kept on some absorbent material such as sand, all will need to be kept in a warm place and spraying with moisture occasionally will help, a careful/daily watch should be kept for moulds and attacked ova/eggs removed cleaned an then kept in a separate container.