PEPPERMINT STICK INSECT
The Peppermint Stick Insect has a very small and patchy distribution along some beach areas in Cape Tribulation, Etty Bay and Mission Beach in South Africa. They range in colour from bright green to turquoise and feed only on a few species of Pandanus plants. These spikey-leaved palms also provide some shelter from predators. The Peppermint Stick Insect spends all its time on the Pandanus, feeding, sheltering, mating and laying its eggs on the leaves where they roll down to the tight-fitting leaf axil to ‘incubate’.
Why is it called the Peppermint Stick Insect? As a defense mechanism, it sprays an irritating fluid at any predators (which include curious tourists) and this fluid smells like peppermint. This is a strenuous act for the frightened stick insect so if you are lucky enough to find one in your travels through the Wet Tropics, please don’t try to touch it. Nature lovers say this stresses the insect and damages the pandanus.
Most species of stick insects live in the trees, feed on the leaves and look just like a branch. The easiest way to pinpoint one is to look for a branch that seems out of alignment to the other branches or a branch that appears to be attached to the outside edges of leaves. Source
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