Step 4: Breeding Spiny Leaf Insects

If you have a male and female stick insect, they will probably mate and the female will begin laying eggs within a few weeks. When changing the newspaper on the floor of the cage, take a minute to collect any eggs that lie among the excrement. The excrement is dry, and smells like eucalyptus so you don't need to worry about it smelling bad. the eggs are oval, with a small orange lump on one end. they are easily discernible from the droppings which are cylindrical.

Note that parthenogenesis is possible in spiny leaf insects- the female can lay eggs without a male but they will be genetically uniform and identical to their mother and siblings.

Store the eggs in a tupperware lined with tissue paper (make sure that the paper has no harmful chemicals added). Once a day, remove the lid of the tupperware and lightly spray the eggs with your plant mister. drill several very small holes in the lid so that the moisture can escape, otherwise the humidity will result in fungal growth which can be harmful to the eggs.  

If you can get it, coco-peat is also a good substrate for the eggs, and I would recommend it over tissue paper because it holds its moisture for longer.  You can buy it in bricks from gardening stores which expand to form 5 or so litres of the stuff quite cheaply

The eggs will eventually hatch, although it can sometimes take more than a year for them to do so. check the tupperware every day when you spray the eggs for newborns- they will look like ant/scorpion hybrids, small black insects with curly tails.

You can house the baby stick insects the same way you house the adults, but add some young leaf growth to the cage as the babies wont eat the older growth until they are more mature. Make ABSOLUTELY sure that the cage you house them in is completely escape proof- you wouldn't believe how small a gap a baby spiny leaf insect can escape through. I keep my spiny leaf insect babies (known as nymphs) in a whole separate container which is more escape-proof than a fly screen cage.
After the nymphs' first molt they will turn brown and begin looking like miniature adults. This will take about 2-3 weeks. once they have had their first molt, they will be much larger, and they will no longer "run". At this stage you can introduce them to the main cage.
<p>i have had two spiny leaf insects, a male and female, for around 2-3 months now, they are both old enough to breed. i have had spiny leaf insects in the past and they have never produced any eggs. are there any specific requirements that need to be addressed or am i doing something wrong? i spay their leaves once a day and change their leaves once a week, i try to keep the humidity down and the temperature doesn't go below 21 degrees in summer. they both are shedding naturally and seem to be behaving appropriately. can anyone help me? </p>
<p>hi, had 3 insects but the male passed away just before christmas. now i only have a baby female(minni) and a female(megan) which is pregnant and about to lay eggs. orthough yesterday both females shedded thier scin last night and i didn't see. it went terribly rong, megan lost a arm and lost her proper scin of one of her feet but she can handle it. minni had her first molt and lost one arm, broke her tail, pulled all her claws of so she can hardly walk she looks like she's moon walking and she's not eating or drinking. I want to help but I don't know what to do, does anyone know what to do?</p><p>:(</p>
<p>don't stress sometimes they do lose arms and legs and it dose hurt them but all you can do is wait because they grow back in at least a months time</p>
<p>are they illegal in the united states? pennsylvania?</p>
<p>no there not illegal you can back ally have them as pets anywhere</p>
<p>Hi there, I have crowned stick insects and spiny leaf insects. Both breeds of eggs have started to hatch but they have problems either getting out of their egg or eating. Both of them couldn't get out of their egg - I had to help them, and both wouldn't eat and therefore died. We chopped up the leaves so they could eat, and we put young and old leaves into their terrarium. What can I do to make the nymphs eat?</p>
<p>There probably not eating because there stressed out from something... Normally they like to be in a crowed area where the are more then two other leaf insects with them so there more protected.</p>
Hello, I had some insects that passed away in February of this year, however they left a lot of eggs. I put them in a box with chux paper and sprayed them daily for a few months. However for the past few weeks I have been unable to spray them, and the part of the egg that has a little protruding hole has gone black and scabbed over. Does this mean the eggs gave died? Is there anything I can do to save them? Thank you :)
<p>if they have turned black that mostly means there not going to hatch ... the thing is you don't spray the eggs because it just spreads mould all over them sorry for you loss ???</p>
<p>If you don't spray the leaves, how do they stay moist? We have some babies currently and they have shed skins twice, but we want to do the right thing when the eggs happen :)</p>
<p>put sand in the container and lightly cover the eggs. Spray lightly when the sand becomes dry. I forgot to spray my eggs for about a month once and when i sprayed they began to hatch. Good luck</p>
<p>Hi all, my younger sister got a female spiny leaf insect this year for Christmas who was apparently 5 months old, we've been changing the leafs every 3-4 days and been spraying water on the maybe every 2. But lately she's been hanging upside down on the roof of the container or around the pot of water we have in there for the leaves. A couple of days ago when we were cleaning out her container we noticed her poo being very very runny, I'm not sure if she's dying but when we brought her the breeder said she was very young and should live for another 10 months. We used to look after a female who was about 8 months old for a friend, and she was never like this and we're doing the same thing we did for that one. I don't know if it's because she's actually older then the breeder told us she was or she's ate something funny, but my sisters really worried that's she is going to die. Thanks for reading </p>
<p>HI ... it is normal for them to hang upside down but they often slow down and hang on the top of the enclosure when they are preparing to shed their skin. Just keep the leaves fresh and moist...spray daily especially in warmer weather. Also she wont lay eggs until she has had her final molt which is around 10mths old. Hope that helps </p>
<p>also sorry she hasn't laid any eggs yet </p>
<p>Hi, I have two spiny leaf insects, a boy and a girl, and I have had them for about a month. My male pasted yesterday but only grew his wings about two weeks ago. Is It possible that he died of old age? If not, does the male die after mating? Please answer ASAP or tell me if you have any other ideas.</p>
<p>I have a question because I'll be getting a spiny leaf insect soon and I want eggs but I think I'll only afford only a female one I found out that the female can produce eggs without the help of a male but will the eggs hatch without being fertilised by the male, because I would like to babies.</p>
<p>From what I have heard I'm pretty sure you can.</p>
<p>Hi DragonB2!! I asked you a ton of questions last year (early this year??) about my ex's dying stick bug. Yeah, she didn't make it :( But now I have my own. She's doing beautifully. The only question I have for now, IsHave a wondrous birthday Kirsten!!it normal for Australian leaf bugs to eat their own skin after a molt?? The first time she did, I thought it was a fluke and maybe her food wasn't fresh enough. But she did it again with her latest molt. Thereby earning her the name, Zombug!! LOL. Is this normal Spiny Leaf insect behavior?? If not, is it going to hurt her??</p>
<p>it is perfectly normal for them to eat there're own skin ............. I know it's really creepy and all but it helps them grow ??????????????</p>
<p>Thanks Chilli? I found that out the other day when DragonB2 answered me on his page. It is kinda creepy but makes total sense. I only asked because our last one didn't do that. She would just walk away from her molt like it was something really gross. LOL. </p>
<p>This little one just hatched 1 minute ago YA</p>
<p>Hey, I have a bunch of questions.</p><p>Do spinies ever hang from <br>their tail? My male juvenile was hanging from his tail this morning, all<br> his legs were curled, I thought he might be dead. He then dropped to <br>the bottom of the cage on his back where he moves his legs a little but <br>not much.</p><p>Secondly, how much should I be expecting my spinies to <br>be eating? They're both juveniles and they don't eat much at all. I'm <br>feeding them gum leaves - are they too tough?</p><p>Lastly, what do the <br>eggs look like? I keep hearing a clicking coming from the cage and <br>suspect it's the female throwing eggs but all I can see is poop on the <br>floor.</p><p>Thanks!</p>
<p>yes sometimes the males do hang from there tail but they should be moving ...and if there only juveniles there not going to eat much at all so don't worry to much because gum leaves are just fine for them... and then lastly the eggs should look green and round and just smaller then a pea... hope this reply has helped you ????❤️????❤️???????</p>
<p>hey guys </p><p>My juvenile female is on her leaf but only moves when you touch her and I always do the things I'm ment to like spray there leaves and stuff but she also keeps on doing push up kind of things is it possible that she is laying a egg... what's going on ?????</p>
Hi my spiny is on the ground and not moving unless I touch her what do I do
In my experience this usually means they are dying. Sometimes they die quickly but at other times they just lie motionless (but respond to touch) for a few hours or days. <br>Might be too late a reply sorry
<p>Important information I have figured out with the babie nymph, if you find they are not eating. Please try feeding them wattle. Its easier for them to chew. Since i have wattle for the young and eucalyptus for the older ones. </p>
<p>I have a friend with a female Australian spiny leaf insect and something really weird happened last night. She just keeled over. She can't stand on her own, and keeps falling over on her side or back. She didn't die, but is now leaking a brown fluid from the tip of her tail and out of one &quot;elbow&quot; on a front leg. Do you have any idea of what this could be. She's about 5-6 months old, has had 5 molts, and has been eating very well. Her usual diet is blackberry leaves, but has recently had rose leaves that have had no pesticides.</p>
Wow very helpful. I have three two girls and one boy . I got the boy for free as he would not get off the branch . The petshop lady said it was a bit of a runt and may die so i could have it . The two girls are different one is happy to hang there while I clean the cage the other is an escape artist and would rather use the opportunity to run up my arm to my head and stay there . The male he is very timmid and will curl up and drop when i move the leaves and then stay at the bottom of the enclosure swaying till i close the doors . The girl that is happy to hang there is always the first to start in to the leaves. When I was getting readyto clean out the leaves tonight i thought something was wrong with one of the girls but watched her for a moment an realised she was just starting to shed. Ive never seen it before. .... thank you for your info . My guys are bout three months old now ao i might see some egs soon
<p>Hi jugglebug, we have over 300 eggs, all female, their mother has passed on now. Some weeks ago they started to hatch. Each one has died despite having very young leaves available. We have probably lost about 8 now, no survivors. We have 2 at the moment which are several days old. I don't want them to keep dying., we're at a loss of what else to try. We have access to all sorts of gum trees on our property. We have tried putting river sand on the bottom of the cage with a bark layer to help minimise injury when they fall. They just don't seem to ever eat the leaves and just want to hang out at the top of the cage. Most die before that hanging stage. Can you help ?</p>
<p>are you spraying the babies with a fine mist? they need the leaves sprayed too. :)</p>
<p>Try finding wattle. I found it much easier for the nymphs to eat. It may not look like they're eating, but they honestly do eat. Their mouths are so tiny it's difficult, but wattle is much softer and thinner for them to get their mouth over. Good luck</p>
<p>Just thought I'd show you a photo of Chip, right before her fourth moult. </p><p>I finally found a terrarium for a great price, and it's amazing. Doors swing open and lock, have ventilation holes etc. They're ideal for frogs etc, but I had to spoil my little girls :) </p><p>They're loving it.</p>
<p>thanks, I originally got my measurements wrong, I measured her with her tail curled, she is about 4 inches long. Would dirt or paper work also? </p>
<p>dirt, i don't think so. Paper towels, always misted to keep moist will work too. Coconut peat can be bought in blocks from gardening centres, and is really cheap :)</p>
<p>cool thanks</p>
<p>Hi,</p><p>Can you feed different varieties of Gum Leaves ?</p><p>Cheers,</p><p>Tracey</p>
<p>Sure, stick insect aren't fussy and will also eat acacia or wattle. However, break open the leaves to check for a eucalyptus smell. The ones with red stems often smell like lemonbalm which is a fake eucalypt.</p>
<p>my nymphs (fourth moult) love blue gum, regular gum and wattle. I found the wattle leaves finer and easier for the newly hatched nymphs to eat. </p>
<p>thanks, she just moulted a few days ago and know she is a full adult. I can't believe how big she became. Do you think she will still lays eggs even though there isn't a male? I have heard they can, but not everything is true on some internet websites</p>
<p>for sure! But all the eggs will be female - clones. She has her little wings now, it won't be long. Give it a few weeks and she will start laying. Then you will need a little container (or large because they can lay hundreds) with some sort of coconut peat that is kept moist. That's what my baby girls were in. You will need to mist the eggs once a week. </p><p>Congratulations :) so glad she's fine. She will still love hanging upside down. Google images of the eggs. They're like a little seed. They're totally different to their droppings. </p>
<p>She also seems to hang her hind legs up in the air.</p>
<p>the comment above is for you :)</p>
<p>Spiny leaf insects like in the photo above? If she's only an inch and a half long, she's still just a baby. They are nocturnal by nature, so are pretty inactive during the day, though they do eat when they wake. If she stops eating, it may be a sign she is about to moult. Make sure their enclosure is moist/humid. </p><p>They love to hang off the roof. They love being upside down. Hanging their legs in the air is how they rest too :) </p><p>Good luck </p>
<p>Hi, I currently have three female spiny leaf insects, my largest is about an inch an a half long. I notice she tends to hang upside down of the roof of terrarium. She also seems to move her tail slightly back and forth, she also seems to be fairly slow and inactive. Is this a sign of egg laying or moulting?</p>
<p>Hi. I have a four day old spiny leaf insect. She's eating the tiny little feather type petals on the gum flower. Is that okay? we watched the mum over the christmas holidays for my daughters preschool class, and she started laying before she went back. We only kept five eggs. She's the first to hatch (she as the mum didn't have a partner at all)</p><p>Thanks in advance</p>
I wouldn't worry about the stick insect eating the petals - they have a very large amount of &quot;experience&quot; so to speak (accumulated through evolution) and so among natural materials like they would find in the forest they probably know pretty well what they should or should not be eating. Congratulations on the birth!
<p>We had another nymph hatch out of her egg on Friday :D So now we have a 9 day young one called Chip, and a 2 day young one called Dash (after their mama)</p><p>Chip has started dropping suddenly to the floor... yep, she's playing dead. lol. I had to google that. Didn't realise they fake death! </p><p>But they're alive and drinking water from the sides of their habitat. loving them :)</p>
<p>Well, today I got a different type of gum leaf for her and she sat on it and I don't know if she was eating, but she was going through the motion. She still likes the feathery flower parts from the gum tree flower, so I got her more flowers too. </p><p>If she was to perish due to starving, when would that happen? she's five to six days old now.</p><p>and thanks :) We were so excited to see her running around</p>
<p>Great post. Spinys make great pets. I love how they sway back and forth. I have a video of mine on a post I did. Have a great day.</p><p>http://coolpetbugs.com/giant-prickly-stick-insect-care/</p>

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