Zoo keepers at San Diego are now said to be looking after breeding colonies of Australia's rarest insect to have ever been discovered yet - the Lord Howe Island stick insect. These insects also called phasmids or land lobsters have started when rats escaped from a shipwreck in 1918 and proceeded to eat every last stick insect on Lord Howe Island. Experts thought that the species were already extinct until a few live specimens were discovered on Balls Pyramid in 2001.
Breeding The Lord Howe Island Stick Insects
In one of their statements released by the San Diego Tribune, it is with so much joy that the authorities from the San Diego Zoo had announced that the number of their critically endangered Lord Howe Island stick insects is soon going to be added as some of them will become parents.
It was found that the San Diego Zoo currently has a breeding program of 40 female and 29 male insects, which came from Australia at the beginning of the year.
The Only Breeding Program Existing In North America; Considered A Milestone
In one of their statements released by International Business Times, associate curator Paige Howorth has revealed that they consider the breeding program as a milestone since it was considered as extinct at first. Furthermore, Howorth added that what makes it more exciting for them is considering the fact that this is the only breeding program in the entire North America and the mere fact they are growing in terms of population is what makes them look forward to the future of this insect.
Additionally, authorities have claimed that breeding of such insects in not an easy thing to do. It was said that insects which are known to be in their delicate early life stages, requires a particular environment and very close monitoring in terms of temperature and humidity.
Howorth has further revealed that the breed of the said insects from the San Diego Zoo will be considered as the assurance group to the insect at Melbourne Zoo which is known to be the primary origin of animals in the planet.