A pretty wing tale…by Martin Bennett

Recently, I was sent a photo of a wing with a request for an ID. Up for the task, I supplied a longer story than just an ID answer.

The photo of a wing I was given for ID

I recognised the one wing as that of the Goliath Stick Insect, Eurycnema goliath. These are large insects with and have rather heavy bodies. The female can reach lengths of 25cm and, because of her weight, she cannot fly. The Goliath has two pairs of bright green wings with red markings underneath, which are thought to discourage predators when the wings are opened quickly. 

The Goliath Stick Insect

The female can lay up to 1000 eggs in the ground beneath the Eucalypt trees they feed on.  One of the largest predators on these large stick insects is the Pacific Baza, a bird of prey. 

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