These stick insects are commonly known as BUDWING STICK INSECTS or RED WINGED STICK INSECTS and in the wild they can be found in the rainforests of Thailand.
This species is a superb example of twig-based camouflage and whenever I get the opportunity to demonstrate this during school visits I will take that chance! In September 2021, on one of my regular visits to St Mary’s Catholic Primary School here in Swindon, I had the perfect chance to do so! The classroom in which I was based had a beautiful handmade tree constructed from cardboard. Before the children came in for their sessions I hid one of my budwing stick insects on the trunk of the tree and absolutely none of them (or the staff members involved) had any idea where she was as her camouflage was SO good as you can see below!
I chose to label this last picture because some people commented that they still couldn’t see the stick insect clearly even when the image was zoomed in so far! I think this is one of the most amazing examples of camouflage I own.
This species gets their common name of the ‘budwing’ stick insect because of their beautiful little wings which are highly patterned in browns, yellows and pinks as you can see below:
Their other common name of ‘red winged’ stick insect comes from the fact that underneath this outer ‘bud’ wing surface they have vivid crimson red coloured wings which are used to startle predators if they feel threatened. As you can see below this colour really is quite striking!!
Photograph reproduced with kind permission of Tomek Litwin.
This species is hugely popular with the many children they meet because they are very easy to handle, having only tiny tarsal (foot) claws which feel sticky rather than scratchy and no spines on their body unlike many of my other Phasmids!