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Indian Walkingstick
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walkingstick The Indian Walkingstick (also called the laboratory stick insect) is a long, slow-moving, plant-eating insect from India. There are almost 3,000 species of stick insects (Order Phasmatodea) in the world; all are nocturnal (most active at night) herbivores (plant-eaters). The genus and species of the Indian Walkingstick is Carausius morosus.

Camouflage by Plant Mimicry: The walkingstick is well-camouflaged in its environment, since it looks like a twig. Plant mimicry also occurs in its eggs; the eggs have hard shells and look much like tiny brown seeds.

Anatomy: Like all insects, the Walkingsticks have a three-part body (head, thorax and abdomen), six jointed legs, two pairs of wings, and two antennae. Their body is covered with a hard exoskeleton. Walkingsticks breathe through a series of holes called spiracles; they are located along the sides of the body. Indian Walkingsticks are brown or green. The body is long (up to 8 cm for females, 6 cm for males) and thin (with a diameter of about 5 mm).

Metamorphosis: Indian Walkingsticks are often parthenogenetic; females can lay unfertilized eggs that hatch into females who can also lay unfertilized eggs. Walkingsticks undergo simple (also called incomplete) metamorphosis; eggs hatch into nymphs, which look like little adults without wings or reproductive organs. Nymphs molt about 6 times as they grow to bcome adults. Indian Walkingsticks have a life span of about 18 months.

Diet and Predators: Walkingsticks eat bramble (including blackberry and rose), ivy and other leaves. Their predators include birds, rodents, reptiles, other insects, and spiders.

1. Are walkingsicks more active during the day or the night (and what is this behavior called)? _____________________________

2. Walkingsticks breathe through holes on their sides called _____________________________.

3. When a walkingstick egg hatches, it is called a _____________________________.

4. Walkingsticks undergo simple _________________________________.

5. What do walkingsticks eat? _____________________________

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