This egg is from one of the variable stick insect species. Females produce eggs about the size of rice grains, which usually drop to the forest floor, where they remain hidden. Tiny stick insects hatch from the eggs after 3–12 months. The egg’s sculpted shape, resembling a bit of wood or a seed, is probably an evolved form of disguise. The exact number of New Zealand stick insect genera and species has been difficult to establish. Eggs have played a major role because each genus can be identified by the egg’s size and shape.
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Photograph by Steve Trewick
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