Eurycantha Calcarata: Lifespan, Behavior, Care, & Breeding

Eurycantha Calcarata is a very large species of insects that originates from New Guinea. This spiny stick insect has a very tough exoskeletal construction and compared to other similar insects; it’s surprisingly adjusted to living its life on the ground.

Eurycantha Calcarata is also referred to as the Giant Prickly Stick Insect or Giant Spiny Stick Insect, and this can sometimes be confusing. The insect itself resembles a branch, and it really stands out amongst all stick insects.

Eurycantha Calcarata Lifespan & Size

Eurycantha Calcarata is a very large and bulky stick insect. Fully grown specimens are always colored in dark brown. The color is so dark that it sometimes appears as if the insect was black and they have a glossy appearance.

Generally, the females are fairly larger than males, and they can grow up to 15 centimeters, while males are usually around 11 centimeters. Similarly to other large and exotic stick insects, they can also live up to two years at most. To people who aren’t real insect enthusiasts, the Giant Spiny Stick Insect might look scary.

Eurycantha Calcarata Facts & Characteristic

Thorny devil stick insect
Thorny devil stick insect Source

As we mentioned earlier, the first unique thing about this species is that they live on the ground exclusively, unlike their relatives. Other stick insects are usually up in the bushes or the trees, but Eurycantha Calcarata can be even found under stones or hiding under bark during the daytime.

Males are often aggressive towards each other, and this is why it’s necessary to provide a large enough tank so that they have enough space. When they are in a defensive stance, the males will rise on their front legs while lifting their hind legs up preparing them for an attack.

Handling

The males have thorns on their large back legs, and they use them to attack. The insect quickly snaps its legs and pinches whatever is between them with its large thorns. This can be very painful, which is why you should avoid touching the insect when in it’s in a defensive stance. Even when this is not the case, avoid touching the insect on these areas, as you might sting yourself.

Eurycantha Calcarata Defensive Source

Feeding

These stick insects can eat raspberries, blackberries, ivy, chestnut, rose, fore thorn, oak, and hazel leaves. However, you need to make sure that the plants you get are not sprayed with insecticide and that the leaves are not polluted with any chemicals from any nearby sources. As a treat, you can even give them a slice of apple on rare occasions, but you also need to make sure that it has no pesticides.

Eurycantha Calcarata Care

Tank/habitat

Like other stick insect species, Eurycantha Calcarata is not difficult to keep. The first thing you need is a habitat in the form of a glass terrarium or a large plastic tank which will be suitable for two adult specimens. The enclosure should be covered with a layer of soil throughout the whole bottom with some leaf litter as well.

For this species, it’s also important to add objects under which they can hide such as stones, tree, bark, wood, etc. The dimensions of the habitat should be at least 30 centimeters in width and 45 centimeters in height per an adult insect.

Temperature

The adequate temperature for this species is from 20 to 25 degrees Celsius. You need to maintain the temperature within this range during the whole year, meaning that getting some kind of heating system is a must.

Water/humidity

They also require a humid environment kept at around 70%, and you can achieve this by spraying the habitat with water every day or by placing some dish filled with water on your heating system so that it creates humidity.

Eurycantha Calcarata Breeding

Males are smaller than females, and they have thorns on their large back legs, so this is how you can easily tell them apart. Breeding is very easy, the only thing you need to do is put a male and female together in the same enclosure, and they will take care of the rest.

The female will plant the eggs within the ground, and it might take four to six months for an egg to hatch. It’s important to ensure that the ground where the egg is planted is always moist but not wet.