Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Stick insect's Pair
This is pair of "Stick Insects". These insects are very much well camouflaged in the green leaves of the plant. Generally stick insects are always masters of camouflage. Their scientific name "Phasmida" actually comes from the Greek word for ghost, it's a comparison they certainly deserve. There are around 2700 species of Phasmida in the world. Mostly, they live in the tropics, but they also occur in the temperate regions of Australia, New Zealand and Europe.
They are also called as "Walking Sticks". As the name "walkingstick" implies, most phasmids are slender, cylindrical, and cryptically colored to resemble the twigs and branches on which they live. Most walkingsticks are slow-moving insects, a behavior pattern that is consistent with their cryptic lifestyle. In a few tropical species, the adults have well-developed wings, but most phasmids are brachypterous (reduced wings) or secondarily wingless. Stick insects are most abundant in the tropics where some species may be up to 12 inches in length. Females do not have a well-developed ovipositor so they cannot insert their eggs into host plant tissue like most other insects. Instead, the eggs are dropped singly onto the ground, sometimes from great heights. Stick insect's eggs often resemble seeds. The eggs may remain dormant for over a year before hatching.
When attacked by a predator, the legs of some phasmids may separate from the body. Some species can even regenerate lost legs. These are the only insects able to regenerate body parts. In addition to their foliage mimicking defensive strategies, there are some glands located on the thorax of stick insects can produce a foul-smelling liquid that repels predators.
Most female stick insects lack wings and tends to be geographically localized. In some species, this lack of mobility can result in defoliation of the chosen food plants. A number of stick insect species are capable of parthenogenesis; if no males are available to fertilize eggs, viable female offspring will be produced. Males are usually winged which allows for distribution of populations. Males are also known to stay coupled with females for considerable duration to ensure their own genes are responsible for egg fertilization. Some species are capable of altering their coloration. During the day they will appear lighter green, switching to a darker mode for their active nocturnal period.
Yuwaraj Gurjar.

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