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Giant Spiney Stick Insect (Eurycantha Calcarata)

Giant Spiney Stick Insect (Eurycantha Calcarata)

Eurycanth Calcarata are large, ground dwelling stick insects found in Papa New Guinea. They grow to around 6 inches long, feeding on a diet of mostly bramble leaves. They are know to be quite aggressive. However with proper care and handling they become an extremely interesting and fun species to keep. They are also very sturdy and so in turn, easy to rear.


NYMPH CARE

-Nymphs live high up in branches until they are fully grown after about 6 months. From then they will move to the ground and live there for the rest of their lives.

-They like their conditions to be damper than the average stick insect but can live with an average humidity level.


ADULT CARE

-Unlike many stick insects they are ground dwelling probably due to their colour and bulky form. They like hides such as plant pots and tubes but will stay anywhere with little exposure.

-They become more docile with regular handling but should always be handled with care as they can be aggressive if disturbed and use the barbs on their legs to pinch.

- They will arch their back as a warning if they feel disturbed or threatened. Males may spray a foul smelling gas (This is harmless).


 


FEEDING


-Bramble and Oak, have also eaten Umbrella and Rubber plant.

-You can also place a slice of apple with skin removed and they will enjoy munching on this.


WATER


- Once they are adult they drink a lot of water so the tank should be kept moist with plently of drink.

-A dish of water can be placed in for them to drink from but this is not advisable when nymphs are kept in the same tank as they can drown. A spider sponge is best used within the water bowl to prevent drowning.


BREEDING

-Males can fight for mates if there aren’t enough females and this can lead to injury or even death.
-In my experience ova take 6 – 10 months to hatch.
-They lay alot of eggs with a high hatch rate.


FEMALE
-Grows to 6 inches.
-Has a pointed abdomen (Ovipositor)
-Are not as aggressive as males and become docile fairly quickly.


MALE
-Slightly smaller than the females.
-Have large spurs on hind legs which they can use as a defence. The worst this will do is draw a small amount of blood.

 

HOUSING

These large insects require a large pet keeper or preferably a glass aquarium with vivarium hood or glass vivarium 24” in length. Keep at room temperature 18-22C. Keep damp but not wet as this will cause fungal infections and can drown the insects.



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