Story: Stick insects

Spiny head

Spiny head

Many of New Zealand’s eight species of variable stick insect (genus Acanthoxyla) have distinctive black spines on their head and thorax. This distinguishes them from other New Zealand stick insects. Stick insects have a pair of compound eyes, antennae, and a mouth with small jaws (hidden in this view by the left foreleg). Compound eyes help them to see predators approaching from all directions. A common defence strategy is to freeze – relying on camouflage to hide them.

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Photograph by Steve Trewick

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How to cite this page:

Steve Trewick, 'Stick insects - Mating and distribution', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 30 January 2022)

Story by Steve Trewick, published 24 Sep 2007