Walking Sticks immersed in Nature
Did you know a species of the world’s largest insect can be spotted pretty much any day of the week in Costa Rica?
It’s true. They are called Phylliidae, or “Walking Sticks” to use the preferred nomenclature of our times. They are creepy, crawly critters that are easily identifiable and pretty much harmless to humans and other aminals.
According to National Geographic, more than 3,000 species of walking sticks exist on the planet, many of which are found in humid, tropical climates.
Typically, they can be found outside on screen doors and windows — they tend to stay in the same place for hours at a time, often even overnight. An average walking stick is less than a foot long with its arms and legs extended, although the biggest ones can grow to almost twice that size.
When you encounter a walking stick on your Costa Rica trip, take a good look at its googly eyes, long antennae, and loose limbs.
Like a lizard, the walking stick can lose a part of its body — its legs as opposed to a tail — and regenerate that body part later in life. This is an effective tool for protecting against harmful predators.
A herbivore, the average walking stick lives between a month and two years, so its time on earth is precious.
Is it okay to handle a walking stick when you spot one on the deck of your rental home?
As long as you treat the insect with care, touching it or allowing it to crawl on your hand isn’t going to hurt it. And as mentioned previously, the walking stick has very little capability to harm you outside of a possible skin pinch if you get him or her all upset.
As long as you’re careful, you can really immerse yourself in the living beauty of the Costa Rican jungle.