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This lovely little stick insect is an adult male of a small species from the rainforests of the Philippines known only by its scientific name of Mearnsiana bullosa.  Like many of my stick insect species this one has enormously long antennae which you can clearly see in the pictures below.  In this case they are nearly twice as long as the body!

Mearnsiana bullosa
Mearnsiana bullosa

This is one of the most active & adventurous stick insect species I have ever kept and the males frequently climb all over my face, head and neck when I am presenting them to children.  The children at the first school one of my males visited suggested that he should be named Steve after adventurer & TV presenter Steve Backshall, a name which has stuck!   It seems especially appropriate because as you can see in the pictures above and below he appears to be wearing a yellow/brown rucksack on its back, in stark contrast to his mainly green colouration!

Mearnsiana bullosa

At the time when I first introduced Steve to my jungle roadshow sessions I only had the one individual but I now have a number of individual males, all named Steve!

Mearnsiana bullosa
Mearnsiana bullosa
Mearnsiana bullosa

The female of this species, like in so many stick insect species, is quite different in appearance from the male.  As you can see below she (right) is much larger than the male (left):

Mearnsiana bullosa

The female has a large and pointed egg-laying spike or ovipositor, very clearly visible here:

Mearnsiana bullosa
Mearnsiana bullosa
Mearnsiana bullosa

In 2014 I successfully bred this species for the first time and produced an enormous number of tiny babies (nymphs) which look quite different to their parents!  Here are some recently hatched nymphs which are of a mainly uniform dark brown / grey colouration:

Mearnsiana bullosa
Mearnsiana bullosa

As with all of the animals I breed it is a real pleasure to watch the nymphs grow and develop, especially as they go through such a lot of change during their life cycle. Here is a nymph a few weeks after hatching, looking much more attractive already!

Mearnsiana bullosa

Several weeks later they are looking much more like the adults and very attractive, with such bright green markings that they almost appear fluorescent in places. Unfortunately these photographs do not do their colouration justice, they really do have to be seen to be believed!

Mearnsiana bullosa
Mearnsiana bullosa
Mearnsiana bullosa

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