This is Chilli, my pet Cyclone Larry Stick Insect. I got her very recently. She is an adult because she has wings. She loves to munch on Guava leaves! She’s very inquisitive and not afraid of rain. The reason I know this is that whenever I use the spray bottle to mist her mesh enclosure, she doesn’t try to hide. She doesn’t usually fly and her favourite food is eucalyptus leaves (as well as Guava leaves). She is about 7cm long and very twig-like. I think they’re called Cyclone Larry Stick Insects because they might have been discovered around the time of Cyclone Larry.
On Sunday my pet Giant Rainforest Mantis, Packapunch, moulted into his adult form. This has been his fourth moult in captivity.
Moulting is shedding his skin. Moulting is necessary in order to grow because if he stayed in his old skin he would probably burst!
Unlike mammals, a Mantis’ skin doesn’t grow with them; they have to shed it in order to grow.
On the same day I noticed my pet spider (species unknown at the moment) had babies! She had about 50 or more babies approximately 3mm long. They were on her abdomen. I don’t have a photo to show of her at the moment.
Today I visited Martina at Insectopia and bought a Cyclone Larry Stick Insect Sipyloidea larry (so cute!). Martina said it had been mated and sure enough as soon as I got home, “Chilli” began to lay eggs!
The Giant Rainforest Mantis (Hierodula majuscula) is one of Australia’s largest mantises and is capable of growing to 7cm. Once fully grown the Giant Rainforest Mantis can catch small vertebrates (creatures with backbones) like geckos and Green Tree Frogs (Litoria caerulea).
You can often find them in the tropics in summer and occasionally wandering around back yards.
Tropical forests of Australia around the Queensland region, back yards and where food is plentiful.
As adults, the Giant Rainforest Mantis small vertebrates are occasionally eaten, although their diet mainly consists of butterflies, crickets, grasshoppers, moths, caterpillars etc.
18 months. In captivity, specimens can live nearly 2 years.
The female Giant Rainforest Mantis will produce a foamy froth – also known as an Ootheca. It will harden under the sun, and provide the baby mantids – or nymphs – their first food. The nymphs continue to grow and will shed their skins 6 times before reaching adulthood. Once the males have reached adulthood they will start looking for a mate. Once they find a mate they will cautiously approach and then jump onto her, gripping her thorax. Mating can take approximately 2 hours. After mating has occurred the female Giant Rainforest Mantis will eat the male’s head and dump him, or if he’s lucky he will jump off quickly and run away!
Adult Giant Rainforest Mantis grow to approximately 70mm but some have been recorded to grow to 100mm.
- Highly active
- Wonderfully colourful
- Most commonly encountered flying around lights at night
- Found in North Queensland, Australia
- Larvae feed on rotting wood
- Live up to 18 months as adults
- Diet consists of fruit and nectar
- Quite a common pet for beetle enthusiasts Rainbow stag beetles are one of the most spectacular beetles in the world. They are are around 6cm long and love to munch on fruit like banana and lychee.