Pink Wing Stick Insect Care Sheet
The scientific name of the Pink Wing Stick insect is (Sipyloidea sipylus). The Pink Wing originates in Madagascar, and has been successfully been in culture for decades. The Pink winged is often mistaken for the Indian Stick insect, and with good reason. When both species are adult, the Pink wing tends to be only a slightly lighter brown than the Indian Stick, a bit slimmer, and the same length. As nymphs it is a different story; the PW is bright green, while the Indian Stick nymphs are light beige to brown. Another major difference is that the Pink Wing Stick insect moves FAST (Maserati) when startled, the Indian Sticks are sluggish (1970 Pinto).
Housing: The Ping wing stick insect can be housed in any container, I use a 18x18x36 high screen cage with about ½ the sides covered to hold humidity. I have an oscillating fan on all my sticks, and my room temperature is 74-76 degrees. I use Sphagnum moss on the bottom of the enclosure to hold humidity when I spray, and give hatchling’s a surface to climb on to. I have a fluorescent light on the top with a 12-hour cycle.
Food: I feed all my stick insects blackberry and raspberry all year, and add oak when it is available. They also eat Rose, Hawthorn, Salmon Berry, Rhododendron, and Pyracantha. Some keepers use Romaine and frozen Oak leaves all year.
Tricks: The PW’s are as prolific, or close to as prolific as the Indian Stick. I spray the entire cage and food cuttings one time per day with water in a spray bottle, and also soak the sphagnum moss in the bottom of the cage to raise humidity for molting. Once the numbers of nymphs get large enough that opening the door to replace food cuttings results in chasing escapees, I move the nymphs into a tall 20-gallon aquarium with a screen lid. The aquarium is the same width and length as a 10 gallon, but is twice as tall. This type of container makes it easy to contain the nymphs; Pink-wings don’t stay on the cuttings to rest, they are all on the lid making it easy to collect them.
The eggs (ova) are small and can be collected from the frass (poop), and nymphs will hatch if you leave the ova & frass in the bottom of the cage. They also “glue” eggs on surfaces, don’t throw them away! I just pick out the dead leaves, so cleaning is minimal. I built a tray on the bottom I can slide out with the moss, eggs, and frass, and I dump the eggs & frass into the 20-gallon aquarium to minimize nymph transfer from my breeding cage.
When the Pink-Wing moves it is sure to get the chameleons attention; the best word to describe their movement is skittering; all six legs are pumping at once, they look a little uncoordinated, but they are Very FAST!
You can house Pink-Wings with Indians and Australian stick insects with no issues.