Breeding Walking Stick Insects The Easy Way
Stick insects make fascinating pets and are super easy to feed and breed in captivity. I collected some wild species and kept them in a large screened chameleon cage. I did research on their life cycle and how they live in their natural habitat and just duplicated it indoors. Over a six month period I was able to collect the eggs and hatch them in a separate enclosure. I’m not going get into great detail about housing or feeding stick insects in this post. For a detailed page on raising walking sticks check out this post. Stick Insects As Pets
Warning Please Read First
Stick insects can be extremely harmful to the environment if released into the wild and in the United States I believe they are illegal to keep unless they are native species that you caught yourself. So if you plan on breeding walking stick insects please be responsible with the babies. I fed all my young to my reptiles and chickens. You can also freeze them to get rid of them humanly.
What You Need To Breed Stick Insects
One adult stick insect and a suitable sized screen or mesh cage and a ample supply of raspberry or blackberry leaves. The unique thing about stick insects is that they are parthenogenetic which means they can breed asexually without mating with the opposite sex. Therefore a single female can lay fertile eggs without a male being present. In fact a majority of the stick insects are female. This is why they are dangerous to the environment because a lone female can lay thousands of eggs in a season depending on the species. I would clean the bottom of my cages weekly and would have hundreds of eggs on the floor of the cage and stuck to the sides of the screen. Watch the video below and you will learn how to identify and collect the stick insect eggs.
Collecting stick insect eggs
Requirements for hatching the eggs is simple. In the video below I had these eggs in the plastic cup and I never did a thing. I actually forgot about them and was going to save them to hatch later. Ideally you would want the temperature above 75F and you also want some humidity in the cage but not to damp because mold is a huge killer. I use a small plastic cage with moss scattered around. The eggs are kept on top of coconut husks or a paper towel works great too. I mist the moss in the cage but not the eggs or the substrate they are kept on. In less than two months the eggs of Indian stick insects and pink winged sticks will hatch. Some species of walking sticks take over a year to hatch.