Lord Howe Island Stick Insect Facts
- Also known as the tree lobster, the amazing Lord Howe Island Stick Insect represents a true marvel to researchers.
- This occurs due to the fact that the rather amazing invertebrate was thought to be extinct for more than 80 years.
- In fact, however, it ranks as the rarest known insect on earth, with only 24 known individual specimens in existence.
- Rather understandably, the IUCN currently lists this remarkable creature as Critically Endangered.
- Lastly, it exists in only one small known location. Therefore, its primary threats consist of climate change and habitat loss.
Lord Howe Stick Insect Physical Description
The breathtaking Lord Howe Stick Insect also has the ability to grow to a maximum known length of about 8 in (20 cm).
However, the remarkable species also displays a moderate degree of sexual dimorphism, with females averaging 20% smaller than males.
Individuals have a rather elongated, sturdy shape. The larger males also tend to have thicker thighs than females.
Unlike most related species, however, this creature possesses no wings but does have the ability to run rather quickly along the ground.
Colors also vary between individuals, without regard to gender. Most notably, these include various shades of black, brown, and reddish.
- Kingdom: Animals
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Phasmatodea
- Family: Phasmatidae
- Genus: Dryococelus
- Species: D. australis
Lord Howe Stick Insect Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Most notably, the mesmerizing Lord Howe Island Stick Insect currently only lives on the tiny island named Ball’s Pyramid.
It consists of little more than steep volcanic rock, inhabited by only a few rather small shrubs, and one tiny colony of this insect.
So, the entire surviving population of the Lord Howe Island Stick Insect literally lives under one such small bush.
Uniquely, and perhaps fortuitously, the females also have the ability to reproduce through parthenogenesis.