Great starter insect
Really easy to keep
They are part of the Phasmid family
Only 1 in 1000 Indian stick insects are Males
The common Indian Stick Insect is often kept by schools & research facilities so it is often referred to as the Laboratory Stick Insect.
These Insects are easy to keep as they need a minimum set up and can be fed for free from the Garden, the make an ideal first pet insect for younger children to study and look after.
Originally from Tamil Nadu in India but are commonly bred all over the world. They have accidently been introduced to a number of non-native countries including South Africa, Great Britain and the USA
They will reach a length of approximately 8 – 12cms in adult hood and can live between 6 – 12 months
In the wild
These Stick Insects are like most other Phasmids and are nocturnal.. the reasons for this is purely because it’s safer to feed at night away from predators.
In the wild these insects are found in tropical forests of southern India.
If threatened by predators or they feel endangered they will fake death by becoming rigid with their legs held along the line of their body, other times they may be found swaying to mimic the movement of foliage in the wind
Indian Stick insects should be cylindrical with six legs, overall the body colour varies from yellowish – green to brown, and their forelegs have distinctive red patches at the base.
If you find a stick Insect at the bottom of the enclosure check it carefully to make sure it is still alive or dead as discussed earlier it could be faking, if this is a reoccurring situation then the enclosure may need relocating.
The Stick Insects enclosure can be fairly simple. They need enough height (app 30cm) so they can hang upside down and shed properly. Temperature is not critical but should be around 68 – 75F which is around room temperature, if these levels cannot be maintained then an external heat source maybe required (heat mat or lamp) If using a Nano Breeze you can use a hood.
Substrate is not necessary and can actually cause problems cleaning them out so we would recommend paper towel or newspaper. Any earth type substrate can encourage mould growth. Paper towel allows you to see any faeces or eggs which can be collected with suitable tweezers.
Ensure the enclosure has good climbing accessories ie fine branches, live plants or vines. In the middle of the enclosure should be a glass jar filled half way with water to put their food in.
A UV bulb is always beneficial to all living creatures. It is really important to create a day and night routine for them, this helps to keep them stress free and emulates how they would live in the wild .
Almost all stick insects eat leaves, these can come from brambles, Oak trees, Hawthorn, Ivy and Privet. Fresh leaves should be provided every other day or whenever the vegetation looks unattractive whichever comes first.
When removing or disposing of vegetation from the enclosure inspect carefully for any hangers on big and small as eggs may be missed and may have hatched.
Indian Stick Insects will reproduce in captivity even when there are no males present ( This is called Parthenogenetic reproduction) Mature females will lay unfertilised eggs that will still develop and hatch into Nymphs without mating ever taking place. When females reach adulthood they will begin to lay a small number of small round eggs (Ova) around 2mm in size, the Ova are dark brown and look like seeds, these can be collected from the bottom of the enclosure with small tweezers.
To incubate the eggs place them on a dry tissue paper inside a cricket tub and place the lid on. Keep them for 4 months at room temperature and they should hatch. Always label the containers with species name – date of lay & expected hatch date.
If you do not wish to breed you must dispose of the eggs humanly… The best procedure is to collect any unwanted eggs and freeze them on the day they are laid.
New Hatchlings should be cared for in the same way as the adults are.
Care & Cleaning
We recommend Good husbandry at Ron’s Pets Supplies cleaning and caring for your tank mates are essential for all living creatures In captivity. Make a daily and weekly task sheet and list all chores that need to be done to keep your Pets happy, safe and healthy. Our staff are always happy to help you with any further questions.