Mr Stick the Stick Insect has found a home with me and a few of his family. A hermaphroditic female of my friends was alone, but had loads of babies. My friend gave me a few, and so, Mr Stick was born.
He's a common Indian Stick Insect and he loves eating bramble, blackberry and raspberry leaves, but he also likes box, privet and oak leaves. My stick insects all shed a few legs now and then.
Stick Insects are very particular about the leaves they eat and most belonging to the people I know only like bramble and blackberry, nothing else.
By the way, unless you are insanely lucky, Mr stick is a girl .
Indeed most stick insects prefer bramble but almost all stick insects will eat other plants. Exeptions like e.g. the fern stick insect will usualy only eat ferns. Indians do best on privet, but bramble is ok. If you are keeping them properly they should very rarely lose legs, there is almost no excuse for a stick as hardy as the indian stick insect to lose legs if kept properly . What is your set up and how many do you have in the cage?
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Then how come on the very rare occasion a male indian stick insect appears and and on the slightly less rare occasion, but still very unusual, a female appears with some with male parts?
Stick insects or Phasmids (pardon the use of name, but it does not refer to this particular member here), are an odd group of insects. Some species have both males and females, with very distinctive reproductive organs; but for the most part the common Indian species is often both sexes rolled into one.
I have kept Indian stick insects over many years, and they did lay eggs without ever requiring the mating act. Other related species did have males and females, and would only lay eggs after mating as each egg had to be fertile to hatch
I can only offer my own personal observations on this topic, as I am no expert on the Phasmid family of insects; and indeed do not profess to be an expert on ants either, as all my knowledge comes from many years of being an amatuer Myrmecologist. However I do enjoy passing on any knowledge about insects that I have from both field studies done in the wild, and keeping them in captivity as pets or for educational study purposes
But many species that commonly have both males and females in culture, such as Extatosoma tiaratum, will still lay eggs without a mating, which will then just hatch into more females. Seeing this, I thought that the male of the Indian stick insect and others (such as the Pink winged stick insect) had simply died off and replaced by the clone females.