Vietnamese Walking Stick
Vietnamese Walking Sticks are brown or green in color. They have long thin bodies with six legs and two small antennae on the head. The front two legs are used as “feelers” and are often held in front of the body.
This type of walking stick can grow to be 4-5 inches long.
- The walking stick’s ability to camouflage is its best defense against predators. To avoid being seen, walking sticks often feed at night and remain motionless during the day. If they encounter a predator, walking sticks extend their front legs straight out past their heads and remain completely motionless to help them blend in with the branch they are standing on.
In the wild, walking sticks consume the leaves off of the trees they inhabit. The walking sticks at Cosley Zoo are also fed leaves. When leaves are unavailable, they are given lettuce.
Vietnamese Walking Sticks reproduce both sexually and asexually (meaning that they do not need a mate to reproduce). Females drop eggs on the forest floor and leave them to hatch. Hatching takes 2-6 months, with eggs produced by asexual reproduction taking longer to hatch. Young walking sticks reach adult size and are able to reproduce 3-4 months after hatching.
Shelter and Space Needs
Walking sticks are arboreal, spending the great majority of their lives in trees. Trees provide food for these insects and also serve as their shelter.
Vietnamese Walking Sticks live between 6 months and 1 year.
Importance to Man
Walking sticks are a common prey animal for many predators, including birds, reptiles, rodents, spiders, and other insects. This makes them an important part of the food chain.
- There are about 2,000 species of walking sticks in the world. Ten of these live in North America.
- Because this type of walking stick can reproduce asexually, males are rare. There are far more female than male Vietnamese Walking Sticks.
- Vietnamese Walking Sticks are part of the order Phasmatodea, which comes from the Latin word “phasma.” This word means “ghost” and describes the remarkable ability of these insects to hide unseen by their predators.
- Walking sticks are able to regenerate legs that have come off or that have been damaged.