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.
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
Photograph by Steve Trewick
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