Wednesday Zen Moment: Australian walking stick hatches at Columbus Zoo (and it’s pretty neat)

Written by on December 6, 2017 in Rare Critters - No comments

From the files of cute baby animals, presenting the Australian walking stick.

Okay, maybe not so cute.

And, for those who don’t like insects, maybe a touch creepy-crawly.

But the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium recently captured on video a walking stick emerging from its egg – and it’s quite an epic birth story.

Mother Nature has really created a fascinating creature.

“The eggs of female Australian walking sticks look like seeds, which are tipped with a protein rich, fleshy part. In their native range, this encourages spider ants to carry them away to their colony. Once in the colony, the fleshy part of the egg is consumed and the seed is thrown in the colony‚Äôs waste pile, where the climate is perfect for incubation. When the nymph hatches from the egg, it greatly resembles the spider ant, especially when it positions its abdomen over its thorax. With its remarkable spider ant resemblance, the nymph is able to inconspicuously leave the colony and head for the trees! I was lucky enough to get video of a walking stick nymph (what they are called at this life stage) hatching from an egg!”

As the zoo describes, these insects really are “amazing camouflage artists.”

Photos Columbus Zoo and Aquarium/Facebook

About the Author

Dawn Walton

Recovering newspaper reporter.

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