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Australian Wildlife

  Goliath Stick Insect (Eurycnema goliath)





Goliath Stick Insect | Eurycnema goliath photo
Goliath Stick Insect, CSIRO center, Canberra

Image by Fir0002/Flagstaffotos - GNU Free Documentation License.    (view image details)

Goliath Stick Insect | Eurycnema goliath photo
Eurycnema goliath, males and females

Image by Drägüs - Some rights reserved.    (view image details)

Goliath Stick Insect | Eurycnema goliath photo
Goliath Stick-Insect (Eurycnema goliath) near Toowoomba, Queensland

Image by Arthur Chapman - Some rights reserved.    (view image details)



INSECT FACTS

Identification
The Goliath Stick Insect is one of Australia's largest phasmids. It is green with some yellowish patches on the head, thorax and legs. The wings are green with red markings on the underside. underneath. Both adults and nymphs are well camouflaged. When disturbed they will open their wings showing the red underside and make a hissing sound. Males are fairly slender with fully developed wings and can fly. Females are very bulky, and do not have large enough wings for flight, although they can spread their wings and glide a bit if they fall. Goliath nymphs are brown and have a stick like appearance.

Size
length to 25cm. Females are much larger than males.

Food
Goliath Stick Insect feed on leaves of plants such as Eucalyptus, Acacia and Callistemon. They feed mainly at night.

Breeding
The female lays brown oval shaped eggs with knobs on the end. The eggs are about 4mm long. The eggs drop to the ground and hatch in the leaf litter after around four to six months. The nymphs go through five instar stages before maturing as adults. The nymphs turn green and start developing wings after the first moult. Female Goliath Stick Insects are capable of parthenogenesis, where they can produce young from unfertilised eggs without mating.

Range
found in northern and eastern Australia including Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia.



Classification
Class:Insecta
Order:Phasmatodea
Family:Phasmatidae
Genus:Eurycnema
Species:goliath
Common Name:Goliath Stick Insect