Monday, 26 May 2008

Tinky the phasmid rides again — x300!

Avid fans will remember Tinky the Stick Insect, who curled up her 48 toes last 4 October (St Francis of Assisi’s Day). Faced with a trip to Richfield Ohio to get her embalmed and safe in the arms of Jesus I fell back on my design background and photoshopped her there myself. Tasteful End of Story, you might think.

But you’d be wrong. Tinky and her nameless (female) mate were, in fact, closet uberdyke prolific asexual reproducers and left behind a throbbing plastic pot of shiny little eggs — almost 300 over 6 months. We gave a few away, but last week two of the little darlings hatched out. This morning another did — notice its eggshell still attached to its back leg, and the little pot cover hanging off:
Personally, my cup now runneth over — two out, three in. In fact, in spite of (because of?) her asexual mating skills, the Lord has Blessed Tinky Real Good. In OT terms, her seed are as numerous as, er, the sand of the seashore. Little pot tops are beginning to pop out of other eggs. Soon we’ll be slappin’ their little bottoms and harvesting brambles by the pound. Houston, We are facing a significant phasmid situation.We had 2. Then we had none. Now we’re looking at 200+. It’s a Wonderful Life. Watch this space. Anyone want their own special six legged friend...?

5 comments:

Mike Croghan said...

This is...rather remarkable, Alan. You've left my naturalist wife speechless. :-)

Richard Hall said...

Well, I would! I've had stick insects for a while but at the moment have only one which I'm hoping will soon stay laying eggs so that the family line will continue. She's a common Indian stick insect, imaginatively called 'Sticky' by her human companions.

Bishop Alan Wilson said...

Watch this space, guys. What is happening is that if the leg catches on the empty husk of the egg, limbs can be lost; but I gather they grow back over the first two or three sheddings of skin... When it's plain how many we're really looking at, we'll get a gameplan going; and if you want any eggs in the meanwhile, Richard, email me (bishopbucks.oxford.anglican.org). These are Extatosoma tiaratum (MacLeay's spectres) — giant prickly leaf insects... They're a load of fun!

"Ms. Cornelius" said...

I find those things amazing!

And anyone who loves Groundhog Day is a-number one in my book-- and I've got lots of those, too.

Richard Hall said...

Email on its way...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...