Stick insects can "stick". Well, at least they can "grab hold" of one's head very successfully.
Yesterday I was out at Medway, looking for signs of the Corunastylis sagittifera (Orchid) species which I have previously seen there. I found one small flower, severely deformed, because the stem had shrivelled at the base. This reminds me of a fungal problem seen in many domestic "ornamental plants", including my beloved Peonies. But I know nothing more about it than that. I shall merely "report" the occurrence.
|Corunastylis sagittifera, not fully open.|
But while lying on the ground, to get the photographs, something quite large grabbed hold of my hair and my ear.
Now, I find such uninvited attention, from an unknown insect somewhat alarming.
I swept my hand across the side of my head, and watched to see what was knocked off (expecting a bloody great spider).
I found a harmless-looking green insect, which I assumed was a Katydid (simply because I guessed that it was not a Grasshopper). It has very small mouth parts, and small rounded eyes. (Have you ever noticed how Grasshoppers tend to have oval eyes, often set on a slight diagonal angle?)
So, I decided to take its photograph, and started by encouraging it to climb onto the base of my walking stick.
|Podacanthus nymph (Stick Insect) on my walking stick.|
It was remarkably cooperative with my endeavours to photograph it. No self-respecting Grasshopper would do that.
I had first wondered if it might have been a Katydid of the group of Katydids known as "Phasmodes" (even though they are reported only from Western Australia).
My fellow Blogger, and supposedly "retired" entomologist (they never do "retire" of course) Dave Rentz advised me: "It’s probably a nymph of a Podacanthus species. Of which there are a number in your area."
Thanks Dave, for setting me straight.
It still leaves me puzzling why it is that darned insects often look like other insects, even of different tribes (orders)?
|I placed the Podacanthus nymph on a Lomatia bush.|
|Podacanthus nymph got very excited, and waved at me.|
|Podacanthus nymph, with fine "tail end", and long legs.|
|Head of this Podacanthus nymph|
We parted on good terms, and I waved it goodbye.
Thanks again to Dave Rentz for his willingness to share his knowledge.
Such assistance is greatly appreciated.