Saturday, April 16, 2011

New "Baby" in the House - Leaf Insect

I admit that I am a bit strange, but I was very excited yesterday to discover a new "baby" in the house - my first spiny leaf insect (Extatosoma tiaratum).  I received about a dozen eggs a couple of months ago, and have been waiting patiently ever since.  They have been well worth the wait!

The baby leaf bug is similar in size to my baby stick bugs, but a stockier build, very dark with a red head.  When I tried to pick her up, instead of moving slowly like the stick bugs, this little gal starting marching quickly, almost running on my hand, and did not hesitate to jump when she reached the edge of my hand!  If I didn't know she was a gentle vegetarian bug, I'd be scared to touch her.  She looks downright fierce!  When disturbed, she rolls his little dark tail into a tight ball, looking like a biting ant.

We had a hard time taking photos with her moving so quickly, so this is all I can share so far:
Baby spiny leaf insect

Baby leaf insect on finger

Newly hatched spiny leaf insect
For comparison, here is a newly hatched baby stick insect:

17April2011 - Here is another photo, a closeup showing the curled tail and pointy head:
Newly hatched spiny leaf insect


HolleyGarden said...

Interesting! I don't know many bugs - glad to meet this one! I would have been scared, too, if we hadn't been properly introduced. Thanks for the information and introduction.

Tim said...

Is the care/diet similar to that of stick bugs?

Garden Lily said...

HolleyGarden - Thanks for visiting. I love to see people, especially kids, who are initially scared of them, to warm up to them, and finally enjoy handling them.

Tim - Yes, the diet/care is the same (fresh blackberry leaves or other "brambles"), and they co-exist peacefully, so that will make it easy. It is only for better viewing that I bought another cage, and am using it for my spiny leaf bug and my few green stick bugs (they look stunning, but I haven't been able to get a decent photo yet!).

Anonymous said...

I am looking for some of thee guys or stick bugs for my sone. My ex and I had a huge aquarium full of them. Was a blast:)

Anonymous said...

whoa needed to spell check

Anonymous said...

I think our leaf bug is dying... she laid several eggs & is now moving very slow.

Anonymous said...

My son was hoping to do his project on her... bummer.

Garden Lily said...

If you're in the Vancouver BC area, then I have many spiny leaf insects currently.

Garden Lily said...

Also pink wing stick insects. Pretty cool too.

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