How Quickly do Stick Insects Reproduce?

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Phasmids are fascinating insects. Many stick insect species are known for being able to reproduce parthenogenetically, some mate to reproduce, some can reproduce both sexually and asexually. There is no exact reproduction time for stick insects because every species reproduces at a different speed.

As a whole, the reproduction time of stick insects is dependent on the species. While some species reach maturity after 2 months, others need a whole year to be able to lay eggs. The incubation time is also dependent on the species and can be anything between 4 weeks up to one year or even longer.

The reproduction can start after reaching maturity. Some species mate, others don’t. Some can reproduce both sexually and asexually. In some species, only females are known and it is unclear if males even exist. 

How Long Does it Take Until Females can Lay Eggs?

The lifecycle of stick insects involves several molts before males and females are fertile and ready to mate. 

As a whole, the months to maturity depend highly on the species and sex. Males of some species mature faster than females. The months to maturity can be anything between 2 months and 12 months.

Stick insects molt six to nine times before they reach maturity. Once they are adults and able to mate, they don’t molt anymore. The months to maturity can differ between the species and sexes. Some only need 2 months until they reach maturity, others need up to a year.

In some species, females need longer to reach adulthood than males.

After their final molt, it takes around 3 to 4 weeks until females start to produce eggs.

In the following, you will find a list of the most common stick insects with their time to maturity and incubation period of the ova.

How Long do Stick Insects Take to Hatch

After the female stick insects lay the ova (= eggs), it can take several months for them to hatch. There are different ways of laying eggs. Some species simply drop the ova to the ground, some catapult them out of the abdomen and fling them far away, and some bury them in the soil on the ground.

As a whole, depending on the species, temperature, and humidity, stick insects can take anything between one month and 12 months to hatch. Every species has a different incubation time.

Once the ova is all set in a nice, warm, and humid place to develop, the incubation time can differ a lot depending on the temperature and humidity. Some ova only need 4 weeks to hatch, while others can take up to 2 years until the nymphs hatch. Every species is different and the ova must be treated differently as well.

In the following, you will find a list of the most popular and common stick insect species including the months to maturity and the incubation time of the ova.

Months to Maturity and Incubation Period

Here are some examples of popular pet stick insects and their timespan to maturity.

  • Carausius Morosus (Indian Stick Insect / Laboratory Stick Insect)

Months to maturity: 4-5 months on average

The ova have an incubation period of 2-3 months. This species is very prolific and has a high success rate.

  • Eurycantha Calcarata (Giant Spiny)

Months to maturity: 8 months on average

Incubation time: 9 months

  • Extatosoma tiaratum (Giant Prickly / Spiny Leaf Insect)

Months to Maturity: 5-7 months

Incubation time: 3-7 months, depending on humidity. Sometimes it can take up to 12 months, especially the ova that was laid parthenogenetically (unfertilized ova). The success rate is only at 40-50%.

  • Heteropteryx Dilatata – Jungle Nymph (Jungle Nymph / Thorny Tree-Nymph Stick Insect)

Months to maturity: 12 months for females, males reach adulthood faster

Ova incubation time: 12 months. The success rate is around 40-60%.

  • Medauroidea Extradentata (Annam Walking Stick / Thorny Stick)

Months to maturity: 3-5 months

Incubation time: 3-6 months. This species is very prolific.

  • Neohirasea Maerens 

Months to maturity: 4-6 months

Incubation time: 4 months on average

  • Onchestus rentzi (Crown Stick Insect / Rentz’s Stick Insect)

Months to maturity: 6 months

Incubation time: 4-8 months

  • Peruphasma Schultei (Black Beauty Stick Insect)

Months to maturity: 4-5 months

Incubation time: 3-6 months

  • Phaenopharos Khaoyaiensis (Bud-wing Stick Insect)

Months to maturity: 5-6 months

Incubation time: 4-6 months

  • Ramulus artemis (Vietnamese Stick Insect)

Months to maturity: 3-4 months

Incubation time: 1-2 months

  • Sipylodea sipylus (Pink Winged Stick Insect / Madagascan Stick Insect)

Months to maturity: 3-4 months

Incubation time: 3 months

Do Stick Bugs Give Live Birth?

All stick bug species lay eggs. No stick bug gives live birth. There are stick insects that reproduce by mating, some reproduce asexually (= parthenogenetically), and some species can reproduce both sexually and asexually.

Depending on the species, the females will either drop the ova (= eggs), fling it out of the abdomen, or bury it in the soil.

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