The Anchiale Briareus is also referred to as Strong Stick Insect. It is native to Australia and is a very hardy species.
The nymphs of this species are bright green and with every molt, they become a bit darker. The adults end up brown. The species has wings, but only the males can use them to fly.
This species is docile and can be picked up gently. The tiny hooks on their limbs might tickly in your hand when they hold on to your skin.
Like all Phasmids, the Anchiale Briareus is phytophagous. That means, that this species feeds on leaves. You can feed bramble, oak, eucalyptus, acacia, guave, and some others.
The leaves should be fresh when the nocturnal species eat them. You can leave the leaves on a twig in a jar with water to keep them fresh until you feed them. It is best to put in the leaves in the evening and spray them with a little bit of bottled spray water or dechlorinated tap water.
You can also put the twigs with a small water jar in the enclosure. Make sure that the walking sticks cannot fall into the water. All entrances to the jar should be covered.
Always make sure that no pesticides were used on the plants.
The enclosure should be at least 11 inches (approx. 27cm) tall.
The height is important because stick insects need to hang upside down to molt the exoskeleton. If the stick bug hits the ground during the molt, it can get stuck and lose a limb or even die.
The enclosure should be higher than wide because stick insects tend to climb upwards.
The tank should be in a room with natural light, but never in direct sunlight to prevent overheating. It should also allow a lot of ventilation.
The Strong Stick Insect is happy with room temperature. The temperature should not drop below 68° F (= 20° C) at night and should be anything between 72° F (approx. 22° C) and 82° F (approx. 28° C) during the day.
This species is very sturdy and can also tolerate lower temperatures, but this will also lead to slower growth of the stick insects. Try to avoid sudden temperature drops caused by an open window or direct sunlight.
Just like most Phasmids, the Anchiale Briareus needs regular misting to keep the humidity up.
You can spray some water in a fine mist all around the enclosure and the plants and the stick insects will drink the tiny drops from the leaves.
The Strong Stick Insects have long and thin bodies with several knobs or spines on the thorax. The females are larger and more robust than the males.
Females are usually around 5.3 inches long (13,5 cm) while males are around 3.5 inches long (9 cm). Some females can even grow up to 6.7 inches (17 cm).
Both sexes have wings, but only the males can use them to fly, while the females can only use them to confuse or startle predators.
This species changes color over time. The nymphs are bright green and slim and camouflage themselves on the tips of twigs.
They become darker with every molt and change from light green to a darker green until they end up as greenish-brown to dark brown.
This species has a lifespan of 6 months to one year. Females live longer than males.
The Strong Stick Insect has the ability to reproduce both sexually and parthenogenetically.
If a male is available, a female will prefer to mate. Mating can take place any time during the year. Females will lay eggs, no matter if they mated or not.
The nymphs that hatch from fertilized ova (=eggs) can be both male and female, while the nymphs from unfertilized ova will be all female.
Ova, Incubation Period
Females will drop their glossy, black ova to the ground. One female can lay several hundred eggs during her lifetime. Just like ova from some other species, the ova are often mistaken for food by ants, and therefore collected and stored in their underground nests, where the temperature and humidity is just perfect for incubation.
The incubation time is around 3 to 9 months, depending on the temperature and humidity. Warmer temperature will shorten the incubation time. The temperature should be anything between 74° F (approx. 23°C) and 78° F (approx. 26° C).
The freshly hatched nymphs can be kept in the same enclosure as the adults, but need softer leaves.
Overall Difficulty Rating
This species is rather easy to keep.
The only issue is common among stick insects. If the humidity is not high enough during a molt, the Anchiale Briareus might get stuck in the exoskeleton and lose a limb. It is possible for stick insects to regrow limbs in the next molt.
Other than that, this species is easy to handle, and one of the sturdier species.
Lisa is one of the two founders of Animal-Knowledge. She has been very interested in animals and insects from a very young age and has owned different kinds of pets such as snails, ants, fish, turtles, mice, rats, hamsters, rabbits, a dog, … you get the idea 🙂