This stick bug found by an insect enthusiast on the Malaysian side of Borneo has been declared to be the World's tallest insect. Named Chan's Megastick, after the naturalist who donated it, the insect will go on display in the Creepy Crawlies gallery at the Natural History of Museum in London , later this week.
The body-length of the dull-green insect that could easily be mistaken for a thin twig, measures 14 inches, beating the previous record holder by almost an inch. If its twiggy legs are counted in the measurement, it measures an incredible 22 inches, about as long as an adult arm!
While some stick animals have toxic sprays or prickly spines to protect them against predators (mainly birds), most don't need it as they can perfectly assume the shape of sticks or leaves and blend in with nature. They are so good at their camouflage that they even pretend to sway with the wind.
There are about 3,000 species of stick insects known to mankind. Found primarily in temperate and tropical climates, they are strictly vegetarian, feeding on twigs and leaves. Just like snakes, the insects molt or shed their skin and grow a new one every few weeks. They also have the ability to partially regenerate, which means that if one of their legs breaks, they can re-grow it. The suckers and claws on their feet allow them to walk vertically on trees and even upside down.
They make great pets because they are so easy to maintain, but can be a little boring since they tend to sleep during the day and perform all their antics during the night. However, if you do decide to get one, be sure to spray it with water at least once a day - otherwise they dry up and crumble, just like the leaves they resemble. To read more fun facts and to see pictures of other species of stick insects check out: www.sandiegozoo.org/animalbytes/t-stick_insect.html
Sources:Thaibugs.com, Dailymail.co.uk, latimes.com