While I was growing up I used to enjoy going to my local park. This park was quite interesting because it had a golf course and also a nature center. The nature center was housed in a large white manor house, that was now owned by the local council.
I used to take every opportunity to go and help out at this nature center. It used to have loads of tanks full of different animals that were mostly found in the UK.
However the center did have some insects that were not native to the UK, and these were probably the most interesting displays they had.
These were Spiny stick insects. Compared with most insects in the UK, these were enormous! While a lot of species of stick insects are very thin like a stick, these were quite fat in size and very spiny to boot.
Stick insect Facts?
There are over 3000 species of stick insects around the world. And im sure there will be a species that can survive in the UK climate? I bet there is already a colony somewhere, probably in the south of the country….
Helping to to look after the spiny stick insects
As I frequented the nature center so often, I build up a good relationship with the nature centre manager, and he would allow me to feed or clean out some of the tanks.
From time to time a Spiny stick insect would die, and I would have the job of disposing of the body. However this time I decided to take one….I had a plan you see…
I thought it would be fun to put a deceased Spiny stick insect, down one of the golf holes and see if the golfers would notice.
They did, one or two nearly jumped out of there skin, when they put there hands in the hole to pick up there ball and touched this enormous insect.
I am sure they didn’t find it very funny, but being a mischievousness boy, I did.
Stick insect update
I have just found out that there are currently three species of stick insect that have come over from New Zealand and are now breeding in the wild in the UK. Apparently arriving in egg form in plants that had been shipped over to plant nurseries. They are all in the southwest of the country….
Keeping Stick insects accessories