Stick insect

Sometimes animals do need to move about and this gives us a much better chance of spotting them. In this case it was nothing large – quite the opposite – it was a very small stick insect wandering around the lodge. They are one of the most fascinating insects around – for example, if caught by a predator such as a bird, they are able to break their limbs off as they have a special muscle which allows them to sever the leg at the weakest joint, thus giving them another chance. And they are also able to regenerate the limb that they sacrificed! There are many different species of stick insects. There are even species where we have never seen a male – this is because such stick insect females produce fertile eggs without mating, only when these eggs hatch they are all female. If they do happen to mate then this gives the eggs a 50/50 chance of being male or female! Most of the time we find smaller stick insects as, despite the fact they are meant to be camouflaged, the larger stick insects tend to fall prey to the many predators around. However we have on occasion seen extremely large ones of approximately 25cm in length. One way or another, this was a truly special sight and very uncommon.