Submitted by Steve on 01:08, 10th Nov, 2016 | 0

Last month we had rescued what we thought was a stray stick insect found in the Villocq area of Castel.

We thought this to be the first stray stick insect we have had on record at the GSPCA and we put out an appeal for anyone who has lost their pet insect to get in touch.

As a result of the appeal we have had contact with those living in the area to say that over the last three years they have spotted the stick insects both in their garden and home of which the picture is one cheeky lady that was spotted in a bedroom in the Villocq area.

The GSPCA have been in touch with a number of groups and departments to pass on the possible whereabouts of stick insects living in gardens in the Castel area and at the GSPCA we would love to know if you have seen any in your garden or near hedgerows.

Steve Byrne GSPCA Manager said "When Stan the stray stick insect arrived we thought it was a first for us but it seems that there may be a lot more than we think out there."

"The species found we believe is a Vietnamese Stick Insect so they are from a much warmer climate and not indigenous to Guernsey."

"We would love to know if there are other stick insects out there as we've been informed by one caller that he and his wife have seen them in his garden over the last three years which means they are surviving the Guernsey winter."

"If you have any pictures or information please do call us on 257261 or email admin@gspca.org.gg."

Stan could be a stray and for lost and found advice please visit - http://www.gspca.org.gg/services/lost-found-advice

Some stick insect facts - 

 

  • Stick insects can shed and regenerate their limbs to escape attacks by predators.
  • Stick insects can reproduce parthenogenetically, without the need for males.
  • Stick insects are a nation of Amazons, able to reproduce almost entirely without males.
  • Unmated females produce eggs that become more females.
  • When a male does manage to mate with a female, there's a 50/50 chance their offspring will be male.
  • A captive female stick insect can produce hundreds of all-female offspring without ever mating.
  • There are species of stick insects for which scientists have never found any males.
  • Stick insects not only look like sticks, they act like them, too.
  • Stick insects are so named for their effective camouflage among the woody plants where they feed.
  • They're typically brown, black, or green, with stick-shaped bodies that help them blend in as they perch on twigs and branches.
  • Some even wear lichen-like markings to make their disguise more authentic.
  • Stick insects imitate twigs swaying in the wind by rocking back and forth as they move.
  • Stick insect eggs resemble seeds scattered about the forest floor.
  • Stick insect mothers aren't the most maternal of insects.
  • They typically drop eggs randomly on the forest floor, leaving the youngsters to whatever fate befalls them.
  • By spreading her eggs out, she lessens the chance that a predator will find all her offspring and eat them.
  • Her eggs resemble seeds, so carnivorous predators will be less likely to take a closer look.
  • Some stick insects actually make an effort to hide their eggs, sticking them to leaves or bark, or placing them in the soil.
  • Nymphs usually eat their molted skin.
  • Once a nymph has molted, it's vulnerable to predators until its new cuticle darkens and hardens.
  • The castoff skin nearby is a dead giveaway to enemies, so the nymph will quickly consume the shriveled exoskeleton to get rid of the evidence.
  • The stick insect nymph also recycles the protein by eating its molted skin.
  • Stick insects don't bite, but they aren't defenseless.
  • If threatened, a stick insect will use whatever means necessary to thwart its attacker.
  • Some will regurgitate a nasty substance that will put a bad taste in a hungry predator's mouth.
  • Others reflex bleed, oozing a foul-smelling hemolymph from joints in their body.
  • Some of the large, tropical stick insects may use their leg spines, which help them climb, to inflict some pain on an enemy.
  • Stick insects may even direct a chemical spray, much like tear gas, at the offender.
  • Stick insect eggs may attract ants, which then collect and store the eggs in their nests.
  • Stick insect eggs that resemble hard seeds have a special, fatty capsule called a capitulum at one end.
  • Ants enjoy the nutritional boost provided by the capitulum, and carry the stick insect eggs back to their nests for a meal.
  • Once the ants feed on the fats and nutrients, they toss the eggs onto their garbage heap where they continue to incubate safe from predators.
  • As the nymphs hatch, they make their way out of the ant nest.
  • Some stick insects can change color, like a chameleon, depending on the background where they're at rest.
  • Stick insects may also wear bright colors on their wings, but keep these flamboyant features tucked away.
  • When a bird or other predator approaches, the stick insect will flash the vibrant wings, then hide them again, leaving the predator confused and unable to relocate its target.
  • Stick insects can play dead.
  • A threatened stick insect will abruptly drop from wherever it's perched, fall to the ground, and stay very still. This behavior, called thanatosis, can successfully discourage predators. A bird or mouse may be unable to find the immobile insect on the ground, or prefer living prey and move on.
  • Stick insects hold the record for longest insects in the world.

 

The GSPCA are very proud to announce that we have been awarded the Guernsey Community Foundation Charity of the Year.

There are so many amazing organisations, groups and individuals and to recognise these there are a number of upcoming awards. Could you nominate the GSPCA, one of our team or another worthy individual or cause? Please visit the links below

The Ceva Animal Welfare Awards are open, to nominate please visit -  http://www.cevawelfareawards.com/

Petplan and ADCH Animal Charity Awards - https://www.petplancharity.co.uk/pet-insurance/animal-charity-awards/

Specsavers Unsung Hero - http://www.awards.gg/copy-of-nominate-your-ambassador-of

Nominating a group for The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service, please visit - https://qavs.direct.gov.uk

Could you write us a review on the Best of Guernsey who run awards each year, if you could please visit - https://www.thebestof.co.uk/local/guernsey/business-guide/feature/gspca

To donate via giving.gg to help animals at the GSPCA please click here

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TURTLE APPEAL - Help fly Olivia the loggerhead turtle from Guernsey to Gran Canaria

 

 

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