As adults, these prickly, leafy looking walking sticks, Extatosoma tiaratum, look amazingly like a brown, dried-up leaf. Females randonly drop eggs, which look just like seeds, to the ground. 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 as a defense – mimicking a scorpion. Despite their fearsome look, they are completely harmless and fun to handle!
Docents in the rainforest frequently have these available for patrons to examine up close.