March 1, 2012

An insect so large, they called it a "tree lobster."

Dryococelus australis.
Lord Howe Island walking sticks seem to pair off — an unusual insect behavior — and Goodall says Patrick "showed me photos of how they sleep at night, in pairs, the male with three of his legs protectively over the female beside him."

12 comments:

DADvocate said...

Just goes to show that bugs are sexist pigs.

MadisonMan said...

I saw this yesterday. Very cool story.

YoungHegelian said...

I'm amazed that an insect that large can breath. Do they have a venous circulatory system or are they like other insects in that the heart pumps the ichor freely through the body?

In days of yore, when giant insects roamed the Earth (e.g. the Carboniferous era) there was more oxygen in the atmosphere, so a giant bug could breath easy.

Pastafarian said...

Did you see the photo of the island at the article? It's beyond belief.

It figures that such a remarkably beautiful place would be infested with giant arm-sized earwigs.

traditionalguy said...

Near extinct Walking Stick insects found high on a volcanic rock are procreating again. That is a happy ending, especially for all insect lovers among us.

The don't become like locusts, do they?

edutcher said...

The males have three legs, too?

YoungHegelian said...

"Maybe they hitchhiked on birds"

That would be one hell of a big bird!

Reminds me of this

Joe Schmoe said...

Pasta, I thought the same thing. Ball's Pyramid is absolutely haunting. What a beautiful shot of it at the top of the article.

The larger, inhabitable Lord Howe island is 13 miles away.

BarrySanders20 said...

I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords.

And their home is one extremely cool geologic feature.

Anthony said...

Great story. I wonder if it's more of a sub-species (i.e., something related but reproductively isolated elsewhere) or a true species.

In Oceania/Australasia, it's usually the rats rather than humans per se that tend to cause most of the environmental devastation (e.g., Easter Island/Rapa Nui).

Petunia said...

Thanks for posting that fascinating article, Ann! And good for the people who've helped save the species.

I want to see that pyramid now. Guess I'll have to get to Lord Howe Island and take a boat. I also want to go to Anak Krakatau. Who's with me?

phx said...

That's the stuff of a lot of people's nightmares!