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Stick Bug Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Wendy McDougal

Wendy has taught high school Biology and has a master's degree in education.

The stick bug is an insect that might have the best camouflage around. What does it look like, and how is it able to hide itself so well? Read on to learn more about this unique bug.

A Stick That Can Walk

Imagine you're playing outside and decide to collect some sticks. As you reach for a small twig, it gets up and walks away! This is not your imagination, and that is no stick. It is an insect known as a stick bug, also called a walking stick.

One of the most well-camouflaged animals around, this insect looks just like a stick with legs. Join us as we take a look at the unique and hidden world of stick bugs.

A stick bug climbing up a tree
Stick bug

Characteristics of Stick Bugs

Appearance

As we mentioned earlier, a stick bug is a type of insect. Like other insects, the stick bug has six jointed legs, a hard outer shell and two antennae. Its long, straight body is not only shaped like a stick, but also typically colored like one too. Most stick bugs are green or brown, although there are a few species that are colorful or even striped.

Size

Stick bugs, like real sticks, come in a wide variety of lengths. Some are very small, around a half an inch long. The largest ever found was about two feet long, more like the size of a tree branch! Some stick bugs have wings and can fly.

Eating Habits

Stick bugs are herbivores, which means they munch on plants like leaves and grasses. Their superior climbing abilities make it easy to find delicious leaves high in the trees while avoiding predators on the ground.

Stick bug feasting on leaves
stick bug

Locations of Stick Bugs

Stick bugs live on every continent on Earth except Antarctica. They are found mostly in the forests of warm tropical and subtropical areas. Stick bugs are great climbers and spend most of their time high in the trees. They have special sticky toes like suction cups for climbing.

Stick Bugs and Predators

The stick bug already has some of the best camouflage around. But it also has other tricks up its sleeve when it comes to avoiding predators. First, the stick bug is nocturnal, which means it is active at night. It spends most of the daytime motionless in trees. It can also play dead by lying flat, which makes it almost impossible for other animals to tell that it is alive. A stick bug will even sway in the wind like an actual twig!

Two thorny stick bugs
stick bugs

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