Giant Spiny Stick
|Geographical Range||Papua New Guinea (off the northeastern coast of Australia)|
|Scientific Name||Eurycantha calcarata|
It's easy to see how these insects got their name. First of all, they definitely look like sticks. Their shape (as well as their brown color) provides excellent camouflage as they sit on trees or shrubs, munching leaves. They're so well hidden, you might have trouble finding stick insects if they're in a bush in front of you.
Giant spiny sticks are well-named for another reason: the males have huge spines on their back legs. These built-in weapons help males defend themselves if attacked by other males or potential predators. (The spines are so large and sharp that local fishermen use them as fishhooks!) Males have another defense: they can secrete a foul odor to ward off predators.