The Stick Insect

Mark YOKOYAMA
Par Mark YOKOYAMA décembre 2, 2013 22:41

The Stick Insect

021213-StickThe stick insect, or walking stick is quite common on St. Martin, but difficult to find because it is very well camouflaged and primarily active at night. These insects resemble sticks and may even sway from side-to-side as if blowing in the wind in order to blend in to their surroundings. Their camouflage is their only defense against being eaten by birds or other predators.

We are still unsure of the exact identity of the species found on St. Martin. Often insects from this order are endemic to individual islands or small regions. The genus of our species is probably Clonistria, but no one has done any studies to determine the exact identity. It could be a new species that has not yet been given a name by scientists.

021213-Stick2In two of these photos, the walking stick can be seen eating the invasive coralita plant. Coralita has pretty pink flowers, but is not a native plant and has taken over large areas on St. Martin, smothering native vegetation. Perhaps they could play a role in limiting the spread of this plant on St. Martin. 

You will be able to see these fascinating insects at the Birds & Bugs event on December 7th. At the event there will be a Bug Discovery Station where you can see a variety of live insects, spiders and other invertebrates and learn more about them. For more information about this free event, visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/1427136514175790/ and http://ass.lesfruitsdemer.org/events/

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Mark YOKOYAMA
Par Mark YOKOYAMA décembre 2, 2013 22:41