|He is upside down in this picture.|
Actually, he wasn't in my garden yet. He was on the neighborhood crime watch sign in front of my home. I don't think he cared if he was trespassing. He was on a mission!
Why do I think he was a he and not a she? Because he has the male pinchers that act to hold on to the female when mating.
But that's not the end of the story. The next day I saw this Walking Stick again. And this time, he was not alone. He had found a she! Mission accomplished!
|Walking stick insects mating|
So, there's at least two walking stick insects in my garden! And from the looks of it, there's going to be more. I wonder how far he traveled to find her. Can you see how he has his legs wrapped around her? What a sweet hug!
Here's some interesting facts about these insects you might not know:
1. They only eat leaves and stems.
2. They have a special joint that allows them to easily break off a leg if it becomes necessary in order to escape a predator.
3. Females don't really need a male to reproduce. She is able to reproduce asexually, but those eggs will only produce females.
4. Some species of these insects are as small as 1/2 inch, while others are as long as 21 inches.
5. There are over 3,000 species of stick insects, and there is thought to be many more that have yet to be discovered.
6. Because of fact #3, there are some species in which scientists have only found females, and think the males are extinct.
Maybe next year I'll be lucky enough to see some of the children of these two lovers. Do you have Walking Stick insects in your garden?