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Indian Walking Sticks


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Im new member here, but have a nice colony of dubias, and have been very succesful with them by learning alot of info on this website.

Im thinking of getting a colony of hissers going as well, cause a local sorce has them for $.25 each.

I am for sure getting a bunch of indian walking sticks from a friend on trade for some dubias.

I am planning on raising/breeding the walking sticks to be used as a food source for my many pacman frogs.

My question is, would there be any danger from toxicity by feeding blackberry bush and/or rose bush to the walking sticks, then feeding those to my frogs?

I cant find alot of info about the subject, and most of the info about walking sticks has to do with pest infestation, not making more and keeping them healthy.

I know I have fed rose PETALS to various herps, but nver the leaves and never blackberry.

Can anyone shed some light please?

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The authority on Phasmids that I know of is Bruno Kneub├╝hler, PhD.

His website is: http://phasmatodea.blogspot.com

Email him and he can answer all your questions. Since stick insects are for the most part illegal to buy/keep in the USA, you may not find someone here to answer any question you may have. He is located in Switzerland.

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I would guess that the toxicity factor would be negligible since people the world over have used Carausius morosus as a feeder at one time or another. However, nobody uses them consistently because their habit for remaining in one place makes them a poor choice as a feeder insect. You'd be much better off doubling your roach-culturing efforts.

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Thanks for the advice, and I tong feed each of my many pacman frogs so not moving wouldnt be too much of a problem.

I dont plan on using them as a staple, just something for variety . . .

My roaches are going strong, I just like to feed a variety of feeders.

Currently I produce mice, silkworms, roaches, and hopefully walking sticks.

Peter, I have been to your website a few times, I think its great.

I am also looking for some hickory horned devils, what do you know about those(feeder-wise/toxicity) and can you get some?


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Thanks a bunch!

Your best bet would be to visit an online butterfly or moth forum (or general insect...hint hint) and look for people selling them. I can point you in a direction via PM if you shoot me a message. There are a few saturniidae breeders that offer them off and on throughout the year. I see them in Arizona when I go, but as with the phasmids it ends up being more work to raise them than it's probably worth (as compared to the tried and true list of feeders that mainstream hobbyists use...for good reason). Of course, it can be fun to watch a bearded dragon take down a fat grub... *squirt*! And an occasional breeding challenge is fun too.

I'm not sure of the toxicity on them with your frogs. Like I said...not a conventional feeder choice.

I tong feed many of my pet bugs and always have them in hand when feeding our reptiles, mostly for re-placement of feeders when the crawl too far away from the target (mouth). B. lateralis are by far the most attractive wigglers for anything I've fed via tongs (excluding flies or moths).

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I can't answer the original question myself, but I came across a warning against feeding Indian sticks to mantids at this page on a UK site; http://www.small-life.co.uk/page2b.html . The relevant paragraph reads;

"The following are NOT suitable as mantid food because they can harm the mantid (either by poisoning or attacking it): ants, bees, wasps, spiders, woodlice, crickets, Indian stick insects, Peruvian stick insects"

I find it surprising to see Indian sticks (and crickets) in that list. I can't see Indian sticks putting up much of a fight, so the author must be suggesting they're toxic. Whether that health warning extends to frogs I'm afraid I've no idea. Maybe a PM to the author (Professor Phasmid!) of the page I linked to might shed more light.


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  • 1 month later...

I'm not too sure about that list... On that list, the only creature my mantids have had problems with is wasps. It's about 50/50. I once saw my Carolina (outside at the time) try to snag a passing wasp and she got stung on the "arm". Chinese mantids take them on just fine. Otherwise, I feed crickets, (SMALL) spiders, etc. all the time.

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  • 1 month later...

I raise Indian sticks, Peruvian sticks and am a long time Saturniid moth breeder. The latter are NOT for feeders. I will first comment on those - as Peter said, they are a LOT of work and hardly worth the effort as feeders. If you want a caterpillar/moth go to mulberryfarms.com and order a hornworm pod and use those. easy, nutritious.

Peruvian sticks are toxic and should not be given as feeders (mine are pets - and very cool and lovely ones I might add). Indians are extremely easy to raise and to keep a healthy colony going once you get one started. Blackberry and rose are not toxic and are perfectly safe to feed. I offer baby and juvi sticks to my little side-blotched lizard and sub-adults and adults to my chameleon and beardie. I have a rescued hatchling (6 months old) snapping turtle who interestingly spits out the stick insects!

What you need to keep in mind re: toxins is the toxins ON the rose and blackberry and that you don't kill your newly acquired sticks!! DO NOT buy a pretty little rose at a nursery or supermarket and feed it to your sticks. They are loaded with pesticides and you will have dead sticks in a mater of hours. Collect your host plants from a pesticide free location and make sure you have enough winter food (if you live in a cold region) or a selection of houseplants for them to eat - again, pesticide free. They eat pothos, wandering jew, ivy (if you feed this or an excess of pothos it is not a good idea to feed them to your pets - research your plants toxicity).


Here is an excellent stick forum http://www.insectstore.com/phasmid/index.php

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