Indian stick insect
This lab favourite doesn’t need love
A familiar sight in family homes, schools and scientific research facilities, this species is often referred to as the common or laboratory stick insect. The captive population stems from insects collected in Tamil Nadu, a state at the southern tip of India, but accidental releases have led to the species living in the wild in many other countries. They’re able to feed on some plants not found in their natural range, but these can turn their bodies yellow.
Female Indian stick insects can reproduce parthenogenetically – without males. They lay unfertilised eggs, and these develop into little clones of their mothers. Around one in every 1,000 members of the species has male genitals, but these rare individuals are often actually masculinised females that also have female sexual organs.
Like other insects, stick insects use a pair of antennae on their heads to gather information about the world around them.
inDian stick insect
territory Native to India, introduced around the world Diet Tropical leaves
lifespan 1 year
adult weight Unknown conservation status