“Sticky” The Stick Insect

July 2, 2015.  I went to hang some clothes on the linen line today and saw, what I first thought was a twig on the line, but before I swept it off I took a closer look and shook the line but it didn’t budge.   To my utter surprise and intrigue I realized it was a stick insect.  Upon closer inspection I was amazed at its camouflage and I shook the line several times,  he didn’t budge, I did notice however he made a movement like a light twig blowing in the breeze.  I knew very little about this insect so went to my computer to get some info.   Found out he wasn’t poisonous and was harmless.

Sticky the Stick Insect
Sticky the Stick Insect

I checked on him as the day went on and he was still on the line.  The next morning I checked on him again and to my dismay he’d lost two legs and was now hanging on by two legs and his tail.  I looked on the ground to see if they had dropped off but didn’t see them.  I shook the line gently and as he was still holding, so I  presumed he was still alive.   I must admit I was feeling a little sad that my first sighting of this kind and it came to my back patio to die.  Back to the computer to see what was going on.

Sticky the Stick Insect less his two back legs
Sticky the Stick Insect less his two back legs

Well I read various articles and apparently they will grow other legs.  However these insect needs moisture and he’d been hanging here for over 24 hrs.  In a desperate attempt to make him as comfortable as possible I took a small spray bottle, cleaned it thoroughly, and sprayed him gentle just a couple of times with some water, no motion whatsoever, I waited a few minutes and then sprayed him a few more times, I saw movement for s split second in the area near where his back legs were.  I gave him a final couple of sprays, he remained still as stick.   Well I checked on him on and off for the rest of the day no movement.

The next morning Sticky was no longer there, I searched the patio for his remains and found nothing.  I’ll never know if he lived or died, but hopefully the water helped his survival.  The whole Sticky experience was extremely intriguing and educational.


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