Meet bactrododema tiaratum. Fred was so uninterested…..
With a body length of 163 mm or 295mm taking outstretched legs into account (males) and between 193mm and 226mm for females, this stick insect is the longest species in South Africa.
About 3000 stick insects are known worldwide and captivate because of their unique camouflage ability, often overlooked in gardens as being just sticks or twigs. However, a little torch-light at night reveals a hidden world as these nocturnal creatures move about feeding on plant matter. Leaf insects, so-called because they resemble broad leaves, are grouped in the same order as stick insects, Phasmida, however only about 30 species of the total 3000 are leaf insects.
Giant stick insects are particularly interesting because of their size and weight and the fact that some of them can fly with their relatively small wings. The flight of these insects may be regarded as one of the wonders of aerodynamics, although often it is only a downward gliding flight. Stick insects generally move very slowly and the large ones tend to stay high up in trees. For this reason, they need to be good at conserving water, and need special blood or haemolymph to do this. Another interesting fact is that parthenogenesis is common in some genera and males are completely unknown in some species. Put simply, it means that females can lay viable eggs in the absence of a male.
info from: http://www.scienceinafrica.co.za