Mystery: Phasmid Eggs in Australia hatch into two species.

Unknown insect
Location: Australia
November 29, 2010 4:39 am
This little guy has turned up in the enclosed container that our spiny stick insect eggs are in. It’s very different to the babies that have come fron the eggs.
Signature: Andrew

Hatchling Phasmid: Macleay's Spectre Stick Insect

Dear Andrew,
Your inquiry brings up numerous questions in our mind because the insect pictured is an immature Phasmid or Stick Insect.  We can’t help but wonder where your spiny stick insect eggs came from.  Did you collect them or purchase them?  Were they purchased from a supplier?  It might be possible that the supplier deals in numerous species, and a stray egg was included in your batch.  What did the other hatchlings look like?  Since Stick Insects are vegetarian, you can probably raise this guy with the others.

Identification courtesy of Karl
Hi Daniel and Andrew:
It looks like a Macleay’s Spectre Stick Insect (Extatosoma tiaratum), a native of the Australian east coast. Giant Prickly Stick Insect and Australian Spiny Stick Insect are also common names for this species. It appears to be quite popular among Phasmid fanciers so there is quite a lot of information on the internet.  The young nymphs are apparently ant mimics, and the adults are quite spectacular. Regards.  Karl

Update from Andrew
Dear Daniel,
Thanks very much for your help and quick response.
Quite strange as the eggs were all collected from the same spiny leaf female that we previously had.
This was the only one we’ve had so I’m puzzled by the different species.
A pic of one of the others is attached. This seems to have a similar body shape to our previous one.
Thanks again for your assistance.

Stick Insect Hatchling, or Mantis????

Dear Andrew and Karl,
Now we are even more confused, and we believe this warrants tagging as a Mystery.  First to Karl, thanks for doing the research on the original image of the Phasmid hatchling and for providing us with links.  Now to Andrew, please clarify your species of spiny leaf female.  Is it the species that Karl has linked to,
Extatosoma tiaratum, or is it some other species?  Was it a wild collected female? or Was it purchased?  The reason we are persisting in our questions is that the new image you have attached of the others actually looks more like a Mantis hatchling to us.  If it is in fact a Phasmid hatchling, we would like to identify it.  Thanks for any further information you are able to provide.

December 1, 2010
Hi Guys,
Once again thank you for your help.
The species that Karl has linked is the correct one. They look identical to the previous one we had.
I bought it from a pet shop and have kept about 100 of the eggs so i can wait and see what comes from the other eggs.
The smaller mantis looking one was the first to appear and we then put in some eucalyptus leaves to feed it. The larger one that you have identified as the stick insect then turned up.
My wife is convinced that the leaves were clean from foreign insects when she did this, as they were washed and wiped.
Thank you both for your help, i’m more than happy to keep you updated with photos.

3 thoughts on “Mystery: Phasmid Eggs in Australia hatch into two species.”

  1. Surely the second insect posted is a Mantodea, it will feed only on another insects, and for sure, it didn’t came from E. tiaratum eggs!

    • Thanks Pedro,
      WE agree, though it is still a mysterious appearance. We suspect the only possibility is that it was introduced with leaves.

  2. I live around this area and keep several different species of phasmid and mantis. The first image is definitely of an Extatosoma tiaratum nymph, and from what I can see the second image is newly hatched False Garden Mantis (Pseudomantis albofimbriata).
    Hope this helps


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