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Giant Prickly Sticks on display at the Cockrell Butterfly Center

scorpion mimics


As adults, these prickly, leafy looking walking sticks, Extatosoma tiaratum, curl their abdomen to mimic a scorpion as a defense mechanism. The newly hatched immature insects, or nymphs, mimic ants.

Prickly sticks are native to Australia and spend their lives feeding on eucalyptus leaves. They camouflage themselves quite well, but if spotted by a predator, they tightly curl their abdomen in a threatening display. They are, of course, completely harmless and fun to handle!
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