Twiggy comes good!

Twiggy comes good!

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!

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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!

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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!

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