Stick Insects in north Cyprus

I was walking the dog in a local forest, collecting pine cones for BBQs, when I discovered an insect much like a blade of grass. My first thoughts were that it was a stick insect but its similarity to a blade of grass made me think otherwise. It seemed happy to sit on my partner’s hand while I photographed it.

A search on the internet confirmed my initial impression that it was a stick insect belonging to the family Phylliidae and order Phasmida. Its use of mimicry and camouflage was amazing and you can see from the images how similar it looked to a blade of grass. Its tameness showed why people would keep them as pets.

The best known stick insects is the Indian or Laboratory stick insect which grows about 4 in long. They reproduce without the need of males and in fact no pure males have ever been recorded. What an amazing creature!

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