Rearing Stick Insects
So you’re now the proud owner of either some stick insect nymphs or eggs. Read the instructions and tips below to find out everything you need to know to care for your new pets.
STICK INSECT EGGS
Follow the instructions below to ensure your stick insect eggs hatch.
·The eggs you have received are from 2 different stick insect species. The large brown one is a Goliath Stick insect (Eurycnema goliath) and the smaller grey one is a Children’s Stick insect (Tropidoderus childrenii).
·You will need to transfer the eggs into a larger container, to give the hatching nymphs plenty of room to emerge. Transfer eggs from the vials they arrive in to deeper containers such as plastic takeaway food containers, or a clear plastic drinking cup (see pictures below). Make sure the new containers have secure lids and ventilation. A hole can be cut into the lids of containers and a piece of fine mesh, nappy liner or chux, secured over the container before replacing the lid. If a drinking cup is used, a circle of the above materials can be secured over the top with a rubber band.
The empty vial can then be used for collecting and viewing insects.
·A small piece (approx. the size of a 5c coin) of moistened tissue can be placed in the container to prevent the eggs from drying out. Be careful not to make the container too wet, as mould will develop on the eggs.
·The eggs you have received should hatch within the next three to four weeks. It is important that you check on them every day to see if they have hatched.
Please note: You can’t predict exactly when a stick insect egg will hatch. They wait for the perfect combination of temperature and humidity before they emerge, so its up to Mother Nature. They can sometimes take several months or even a year to hatch, so you’ll need to be patient. It you’re tired of waiting, why not purchase some stick insect nymphs?
·Remember, if you are unable to care for the eggs or nymphs, simply release them underneath a gum tree, and they will have plenty of food to grow and survive on their own (Bugs Ed. only provides eggs of local stick insect species).
Once your stick insect eggs have hatched, they need to be set up in an enclosure with food. Read the instructions below for help.
STICK INSECT ACCOMMODATION
When your nymphs hatch they should be set up in their new home as soon as possible.
Stick insect nymphs are very active and need a secure enclosure to prevent escape. The enclosure must be fairly tall (at least 50cm) to allow room for growth and moulting. Try one of the following set ups:
·Styrofoam box (see picture below or click here for the Make Your Own Bug Box Fact Sheet.
·Aquarium – stand the aquarium on its end and cover the front with fine mesh.