Keeping a stick insect as a pet requires knowing what to feed it. Stick insects are herbivores, meaning they only eat plant life. The question is, do they eat fruit?
Most guides to keeping stick insects as pets recommend feeding the creatures leaves. Almost no one talks about fruit because plants and leaves are abundant enough that it is just not necessary. Having said that however, pet owners have published YouTube videos showing their insects feasting on fruit.
Many stick insect species will eat fruit if it is presented to them. The best way to find out is to just place some within their enclosure and see if they eat it. If they don’t like it, they will just ignore it. Also note that stick insects will not eat anything that is harmful to them.
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So Many Species
It is impossible to say for certain that no stick insects eat fruit. Why? Because there are over 3000 different species around the world. The only thing that can be said definitively is that stick insects will restrict their diets to plant life.
Your particular species might be into fruit. Offering your insect fruit likely won’t harm it as stick insects have an innate ability to determine if a food source is toxic. You can always give your stick a piece of fruit and see if it will eat. If not, you can assume that particular fruit is not appropriate.
Leaves of Fruit Trees
Stick insect owners are sometimes confused by the fruit question because they do not draw a distinction between leaves and actual fruit. For example, you might read a recommendation to feed apple to your particular species. Does that mean the actual fruit, or is the recommendation referring to the leaves of an apple tree?
If you are interested in offering fruit to your stick insect, you might want to offer the leaves of the tree or plant first. If your stick insects happily eat the leaves, it may very well be amicable to the fruit itself.
One final suggestion for those interested in offering their insects fruit is to limit yourself – at least initially – to fruits that exist in the insect’s natural environment. Remember the key to keeping a stick insect as a pet is to mimic its natural environment as much as possible. So choose fruits the insect would have access to if it were not in captivity.
Do stick insects eat fruit? As a general rule, no. But that does not eliminate the possibility entirely. Stick insects are herbivores. You can always offer fruit and see what happens.