Story: Stick insects


This egg is from one of the variable stick insect species. Females produce eggs about the size of rice grains, which usually drop to the forest floor, where they remain hidden. Tiny stick insects hatch from the eggs after 3–12 months. The egg’s sculpted shape, resembling a bit of wood or a seed, is probably an evolved form of disguise. The exact number of New Zealand stick insect genera and species has been difficult to establish. Eggs have played a major role because each genus can be identified by the egg’s size and shape.

Using this item

Private collection
Photograph by Steve Trewick

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Steve Trewick, 'Stick insects - Mating and distribution', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 1 December 2022)

Story by Steve Trewick, published 24 Sep 2007