Do Stick Insects Eat Bamboo?

Bamboo

Written by Anthony

I am a content creator by profession but exotic animals are one of my great passions in life. Over the course of my adulthood, I have had the pleasure of looking after stick insects, terrapins, an Egyptian tortoise, giant African land snails, a crested gecko, a Chilean rose tarantula, a couple of curly-haired tarantulas, and a selection of millipedes, centipedes and worms!

Last Updated on January 19, 2021

The sheer number of stick insect species (around 3000 of them) suggests that privet and bramble are not the only foods they will eat. Perhaps you have even wondered if stick insects eat bamboo? I cannot definitively say no, but there are a number of reasons suggesting why they might not.

Although some stick insect species might eat the leaves of bamboo plants, stick insects will not eat the stem or ‘stick’. To see if your species eats the leaves, just place some in the enclosure. Rest assured they will not eat them if they do not like them or these are harmful to their species.

For more advice and information on keeping and looking after stick insects, check out my ebook on Amazon click here (opens in a new tab).

Bamboo is actually a grass rather than a shrub or tree. Some species of bamboo produce leaves after they flower, other species do not. The difficulty with bamboo as a food source for stick insects is the fact that its flowering cycles are erratic and unpredictable. In the wild, this would not make for a stable food source.

Another reason that stick insects might be averse to bamboo is that the stalks and stems are just too tough to eat. Even though stick insects are herbivores, they do not have a sufficient jaw structure for consuming something as tough as a bamboo stalk. That’s not to say that bamboo leaves are not edible. They may very well be.

Southern Two-Striped Stick Insect
Southern Two-Striped Stick Insect

Reasons Stick Insects Might Eat Bamboo

There are a few reasons bamboo might be a good food source for some species of stick insects. First, like so many stick insect species, bamboo is a tropical plant. Thus, it probably exists in the natural habitat of at least some stick insect species.

Bamboo is also an evergreen plan, which means it stays green and vibrant all year round. Stick insects are known to have an affinity for evergreens, so some species might find bamboo quite inviting.

As a general rule, I would avoid bamboo as a food source for stick insects. But this is not to say that no species will eat it. You can always try bamboo if it intrigues you. Rest assured your stick insect will not eat it if it could be harmful. And if your stick insect does eat it, you have found another viable food source.

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