Macleay’s spectre

Newly hatched nymph

This is a hatchling Macleay’s spectre also known as a giant prickly stick insect. When they first hatch the babies of this Australian species resemble ants and move really quickly. In order to grow they shed their skin on a regular basis and in the picture below you can compare some newly hatched young with one that has had a couple of sheds; if you look carefully you can see the spines starting to appear on the body. Eventually, these stick insects reach 20cm in length. They are currently on display in the Discovery room.

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