Australian Walking Stick

Extatosoma tiaratum

Fascinating Facts

  • Adults can release a defensive odor that humans might not find offensive as it “is rather reminiscent of peanut butter, vinegar or toffee”.
  • This stick insect is sexually dimorphic; that is, the male and female look very different.

Physical Characteristics

Female adult are covered with thorn-like spikes for defense and camouflage. Their long, rounded bodies grow to about 8 inches (20 cm) long. The males are small and thinner, growing only about 11 cm in length and have three ocelli. Males lack the thorny growths except for spikes around their heads. They have long wings and are good flyers who readily take to the air if disturbed or in search of females.


Walking sticks are found in Australia’s tropical forested regions. In the wild they will eat certain species of eucalyptus.

Social Behavior

Both genders, when threatened, stand on the front and middle legs, pointing their abdomen up or to the side in a sort of “scorpion” pose. They fold back their legs to defend themselves if anything comes in contact with their abdomen.

Status In The Wild

Australian walkingsticks are not endangered.


They can be found in the Insect Zoo.

Animals & Exhibits