Our pet Margined-wing Stick Insect, Twiggy moulted to the adult stage two weeks ago. We decided then to keep her for a while, hoping that she might reproduce. While Twiggy has never encountered a male, some phasmid species are known to reproduce parthenogenetically.
While cleaning out the bottom of the "buddy tank" this morning, Kerri discovered a cylindrical 7mm long object - distinctly larger than the droppings normally found there. Closer inspection showed that it was an egg!
This is a view of the end of the egg from where the nymph emerges. The incubation period for phasmid eggs varies from a month to a year - depending on the species. So we may have to be very patient to witness hatching!
We released Twiggy back into the forest today. Hopefully she gets the chance to lay more eggs before she falls prey to our resident Sacred Kingfishers - which are currently feeding a pair of very hungry fledglings!