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Titan Stick Insect

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Other common names: Australian Stick Bug; Queensland Titan Stick Insect

Scientific name: Acrophylla titan / Acrophylla wuelfingi

The basics:
The Titan Stick Insect is one of the longest stick insects found in Australia (Ctenomorpha gargantua is the largest). It is native to south-east Queensland and New South Wales.

Appearance / health:
Titan Stick Insects are pale brown-gray in color and can grow up to 30cm in length. The females can be easily identified as being larger than the males. Males are able to fly but females are not.

Behavior / temperament:
Titan Stick Insects are usually docile and easy going.

Housing:
A fully screened enclosure works best for all mantids as they are fully ventilated. Baby mantids may live in a temporary jar with many air holes punched in the lid and sides. They may be housed together, but enclosure space will need to grow according to how many are being housed. However, it’s best to house separately as cannibalism is very common.

Temperatures should stay around 75-85F with humidity levels of 60-70%. Humidity is important especially around molting time. Substrate is best as potting soil or a mix of peat and potting soil; 1-2 inches deep. Tank décor is highly important and should be items such as vines, twigs, branches, and many other climb-able items. They also need a place for molting and this can be a branch laid horizontally at the top of the tank. They will hang upside down to molt, so make sure there is room underneath the branch. Misting the tank during molt time is beneficial. If not molting, mist the tank 1-2 times a week to keep the range between 60-70%.

Diet:
Titan Stick Insects feed on Eucalyptus trees, Acacia trees, Callitris species, and some garden plants such as raspberries and roses.

Breeding:
Titans breed during winter/summer. During the mating process, the male connects his abdomen to the lower part of the female's egg compartment. Mating can take up to 40mins and is repeated several times. The female will end up with a fat abdomen and will produce a lot of eggs (200 to 1000) in her life time. The females then flick their eggs to the ground. The eggs are black-gray with a small white growth. Ants pick them up and eat the growth, and leave the egg in the refinery where they hatch.