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Timemas and Stick and Leaf Insects: Phasmida - Stick Insects And People

Animal Life ResourceInsects and SpidersTimemas and Stick and Leaf Insects: Phasmida - Physical Characteristics, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Stick Insects And People, Conservation Status, Jungle Nymph (heteropteryx Dilatata): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT


Natives of Goodenough Island, New Guinea, used the large hooks found on the back legs of male Eurycantha, a large spiny species common in the region, as fishhooks. Large and spectacularly colored species are commonly collected, preserved, and mounted in decorative frames for sale to tourists. Living phasmids are popular with hobbyists, but the importation of exotic stick insects is strictly regulated in many countries, especially in the United States. Authorities are concerned that the accidentally or purposefully introduced foreign species may become plant pests. Exotic species can also crowd out native species or introduce harmful diseases to their populations. Exotic species are often displayed, under special permits, in insect zoos and other institutions with living arthropod exhibits. Nearly all phasmids are harmless, but some species can deliver a painful pinch with sharp spines on their legs or squirt bad-smelling sprays that are known to cause temporary blindness in humans. A few stick insects are occasionally regarded as pests when they devour nearly all of the leaves of individual trees.


Many species of insects mimic ants, and with good reason. Ants are well known for their defensive behaviors. Many predators avoid them because they will not hesitate to bite, sting, or spray stinging chemicals at their attackers. The young larvae of some stick insects are thought to mimic the movement of ants by running frantically over the ground.

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