Phasmids one of the most Fascinating Species of Insect in the World

“Phasmids” is the term used to refer to the insect that is more commonly known as “stick insects”. Phasmids get their name for the fact that almost all of the variations of the species either look like sticks, twigs or leaves. All phasmids have six legs and they are easily recognisable for their unique and almost extreme and covert camouflage. There are seemingly countless species of phasmids all over the world, and all of them are renowned for their unique shapes and sizes.

Phasmids and their terrain

One of the most spectacular things about phasmids is the fact that, depending on what part of the world they are in and the terrain that they live on, their camouflage changes. Phasmids that are more prone to live in darker terrain such as twigs, leaves and rocks are more likely to have a rocky, darker like skin and body type. Phasmids that are more likely to live on leaves and in trees are much more likely to have greener, leaf shaped bodies. One trait that trends to the majority of phasmids is the fact that they often bend their bodies and adapt unique shapes and positions in order to perfectly camouflage with their surroundings.

The life cycle of phasmids

Depending on the species of phasmid, some can only live for a few months. Some of them, however, can live for up to five years. The male phasmids are often smaller than the females, and it is the females that lay the eggs. Female phasmids lay between a hundred and a thousand eggs at any one time, again depending on the species. One of the fascinating things about phasmids is that even if they lay a thousand eggs at a time, they do so, one by one. Young phasmids after hatching will immediately run to camouflage and shelter and they will shed their skin several times before they achieve the size of an adult phasmid. The skin shedding process is called moulting.

Food and survival

A big part of the phasmids’ life is food. The majority of phasmids are nocturnal meaning that they only come out at night. They use the night time in order to traverse their territory, mate and eat. Phasmids rarely walk in the open and they will stick to the terrain that they feel camouflaged in, meaning that the majority of phasmids will stay to the surroundings that look like them; leaf shaped stick insects will generally stick to leaves, twig shaped stick insects will generally stick to twigs, and so on and so forth. The majority of phasmids eat soft leaves. Common species in rural areas eat hedge and privet leaves with some species eating bramble leaves as an example. Obviously, depending on the part of the world and the species of stick insect, their diet varies, but leaves are a necessity.

Phasmids are certainly one of the most fascinating insects in the world. They can be found in almost all warm places in the world. They are fascinating for their camouflage and their unique shapes and sizes. While they may look quite sinister, they are nocturnal and stray away from humans. From their camouflage, their bodies, their life cycle and their art in survival; just about everything about the phasmid is amazing.