Large ‘Alien’ looking Insect
April 18, 2010
Hi, the attached ‘insect’ was found dead in 2005 in Brisbane’s Western Suburbs. I thought I had lost the photos until now. Having never seen anything that so closely resembles the main character of the film Alien, and I am not talking about Sigourney Weaver here, I was wondering if you could id this insect as something natural rather than as a hungry visitor from another planet. The closest match I have been able to find is the ‘Goliath Stick Insect’ – really lame name by the way – but I have not seen any photo’s that match the hideous head and plus the doco states it grows to 7 inches not 9. It was reasonably weighty and as you can see, when straitened out, it was around 9 inches long. We found it on our driveway. There are a lot of Gum trees nearby. It’s abdomen was full of what looked like maggots and it was certainly putting out a strong ‘rotting meat’ odour so I assume it was fly-blown and not full of offspring. If it was offspring – you will find them at the city dump or wherever it is that the wheelie bins are emptied.
Brisbane Western Suburbs
Your supposition that this is a Goliath Stick Insect, Eurycnema goliath, is correct. Regarding the size discrepancy, we presume that the antennae and legs are not incorporated into the body length when determining size, and the Brisbane Insect website indicates that the Goliath Stick Insect grows to 210 mm or just over 8.25 inches.
Very strange looking insects. Scary in fact. I hope you have a great week. Thanks for the super fast reply and the confirmation.