What is the safest way to move young stick insects?

Young stick insects, better-known in North America as walking sticks, are very fragile after hatching, and the simplest means of moving them is to use a small paint brush, as sold for artists. You can effectively sweep the nymphs up, by persuading them to step on to the bristles, and then transfer them elsewhere. Even so, they are very well-camouflaged and it is easy to miss individuals hanging on to the bramble shoots when you are replacing these stems.

Stick insect.
A better option is to prolong the life of the stems of bramble, which you can do by placing them in a narrow-necked container of water, so you will not need to disturb the nymphs as frequently. Stuff the top of the vessel tightly with tin foil, which will prevent any of the young stick insects drowning in the water. This also means that you will not need to cut as much bramble to feed your stick insects. As they grow bigger, you can pick up the stick insects directly, using your thumb and first finger, but beware if your species has spikes, or can spray a toxin.

  • You can read more about stick insects and their care here and the stunning black beauty species is profiled  here.