Status: Not Evaluated
The Malayan Jungle Nymph (Heteropteryx dilatata) is the heaviest stick insect in the world, weighing around 65 grams (but only if we’re talking about a female). The males are much smaller (4 in.) than the females (6 in.) and lack the bright green, almost leaf-like appearance taken by the females. Instead, they resemble twigs: skinny, long, and mottled brown in color. Either sex is well equipped to camouflage itself amongst the dense brush of the Malaysian forests they inhabit.
They’re quite popular in the insect enthusiast world and can be kept as a pet, living up to 2 years. However, these guys are definitely NOT recommended for children. When threatened, the female will lift her abdomen into the air, positioning herself into a hand stand position with her two back legs splayed from side to side. Those legs, you see, are armored with thick, sharp spikes that she uses to fend off predators. If anything approaches her, she will make a loud rustling noise with her tiny, underdeveloped wings (only males have wings that allow them to fly) to alert the predator that a spiny attack is coming. Then, if the predator refuses to leave, she will quickly snap her spiked legs onto the offender. Often times, this can draw blood.
Now you may be wondering whyyyy she’s got to be so defensive about things. I mean, you know, other than the fact that she needs to defend her life against vicious, blood thirsty predators…. ya, other than that, I mean.
Well anyways, the only other reason I can think of is that she needs to defend her eggs… her eggs that look JUST LIKE MINI DINOSAUR EGGS!
How. Cool. Is. That?!?! The eggs are pretty big, too (for insect standards) at 8.5 by 5.5 mm. The jungle nymph is actually the insect that lays the largest egg in terms of volume. The eggs take anywhere from eight to eighteen months to hatch. After that, you’ve got yourself a nice ‘ol baby stick insect. Awwwww!
and this is what you can look forward to, once they’re all grown up: