New Zealand’s largest stick insect is the bristly stick insect (Argosarchus horridus). Adult females such as the one climbing on this little girl have bodies up to 14 centimetres long (or 20 centimetres with their forelegs stretched in front of them). The largest stick insect is Phobaeticus serratipes from Malaysia, at 56 centimetres including its legs. Grey or brown, bristly stick insects are notable for the little spines on the thorax and abdomen. Although they might appear monstrous, like all the New Zealand species they are harmless vegetarians.
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Photograph by Steve Trewick
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