print out | 28/05/01
Before acquiring your stick insects, it is important to consider their housing requirements and ensure that the necessary food and equipment are readily available. Although stick insects are relatively easy to keep and breed, problems can occur when they are housed in inadequate or improper conditions. As many people who have experience with these creatures will know, their prolific nature means that housing becomes a real issue, poor attention leading to cramped, confined enclosures that support the growth of mould and fungus.
A number of housing options are available, their suitability
depending partly on the species concerned. If you wish to keep some of
the larger species, such as the jungle nymph, you may need to provide
very spacious surroundings. In contrast, if you are interested only in
smaller species (such as dares, aretaon or carausius) a large sweets'
jar will suffice. It is important to remember that stick insects need
sufficient space if they are to moult and develop without difficulty.
In practical terms, this means that they must be able to hang upside down
easily, to manoeuvre themselves out of their old skin. As a rule of thumb,
the height of their accommodation must therefore be at least twice as
great as their length. Perhaps the most useful design is a tall, transparent
container with ventilation holes in the top. In its simplest form, this
can be a glass jar with a nylon mesh top held in place with a rubber band.
Cages sold specifically for housing small insects, including caterpillars,
are based on this simple design but come in a variety of sizes.
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