The care of the Macleays Spectre Stick Insect
For lodging the Macleays Spectre Stick Insect it is important that the terrarium is at least three times as high as the length of the biggest insect. This space is necessary for the shedding. This also makes it possible to place longer feeding sticks with more leafs in the terrarium.
Then it is not necessary to feed very often. The terrarium can be made of glass or plastic. Needless to say, a part has to be left open for fresh air and covered with wire mesh or something similar. During the day, the temperature in the terrarium has to lie between 22 °C and 28 °C. A small light bulb may provide enough extra warmth for this. When the room is warm enough, extra heating is not necessary. At night time, the lamp may be switched off, and temperatures may drop to 17-22 °C. When the terrarium stands in direct sunlight, it will become to hot. At high temperatures, the animals will eat more. Their life-cycle will also speed up (then they will die sooner too).
MSSIs love to drink. The shedding also requires a high atmospheric humidity. For spraying, a plant sprayer with rain water can be used. The stick insects will drinks the drops of water from the leafs. The terrarium should not be too wet, though. This will increase chances of creating mould and infections.
Sticks of the feeding plant have to be placed in water, in order to keep the leafs fresh. The opening of the bottle or vase must be too small for the stick insects to drop in. Otherwise, the opening should be covered with aquarium filter sponges.
MSSIs eat fresh leaves, just like other stick insects. Some species eat only one type of plant, other species feed on several kinds. Bramble leaves is an appropriate diet for most species. Another advantage of bramble is that green leaves can be found during the winter even. The brown edges of the leaves will not be eaten. They have to be cut off beforehand. Nymphs may find the edges of the leaves too rough. They may have to be cut smooth then.
Other feeding plants include: raspberry, oak, hazel, hawthorn, and firethorn.
It is important that these feeding plants are not picked near busy roads, industrial areas or agricultural areas (poison). Leaves should be checked for pollutants (little spiders), and the lowest leaves (the leaves in the vase) should be removed.