July 3, 2007

Stick bugs

Mantis, La Ceiba, Honduras
One day I was using the water faucet near these plants and I felt someone looking at me. I looked up to see this strange insect. I've seen brown ones and I've seen green ones but I've never seen one with a green body and brown and white striped legs and head. He was a nice patient insect and waited for me to go inside to get my camera.

Mantis, La Ceiba, Honduras

Mantis, La Ceiba, HondurasWe have several types of walkingsticks and praying mantis insects here in Honduras. Mantids are carnivorous and feed on other insects. The female is known for devouring the male while mating. It is said that large ones even stalk small frogs, lizards, and hummingbirds. Once thought to be desirable in the garden, now some organic gardeners believe that mantids may eat too many beneficial insects as well.

Walking stick bug, La Ceiba, HondurasMost walkingsticks are harmless herbivores who feed on foliage, mostly of trees and shrubs.

Two-lined walkingsticks will defend themselves with an acidic chemical sprayed from the end of their abdomen. They often aim for the eyes, and the chemical can cause pain and temporary blindness. Pets may experience this more often than humans.

Walking stick bug, La Ceiba, HondurasUnlike North American walkingsticks, tropical walkingsticks have wings and can fly. They can also regenerate lost legs.

This one was inside the house and was about 4 inches long (10 cm.). We have seen some that are so well camouflaged that the truly look like sticks. Those were very large, about 6 inches long (15 cm.)

You can click on any of the pictures to enlarge them in a separate window.

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