World's Rarest Insect found on Rocky Spire


74 Responses to “World's Rarest Insect found on Rocky Spire”

  1. Anonymous says:


  2. Anonymous says:

    i spent a good 30 min reading this article and the comments. i love the way nerds think

  3. adamnvillani says:

    I’ve seen plenty of things this size or smaller from cruising altitude in a commercial jet. I always bring along maps when I’m flying during the day and enjoy following along on the map what I can see on the ground.

  4. alexisbellido says:

    Cool, it seems these insects got what the Pirate Bay guys didn’t: their own island!

  5. t3hmadhatter says:

    3 legs to wrap around, the other three to hide the embarrassing boner. minus two legs, sounds about right.

  6. Anonymous says:

    “thought to be devoid of life until 2001″ Really?

    Then how is it that the 1965 expedition to the summit had to be prepared for centipede attacks as the previous expedition was viciously attacked by them?

    Of course, I’d rather be attacked by lobsters that I could boila and eat.

  7. TheCrawNotTheCraw says:



    But the people who have come to the Open Houses keep complaining about the torture chambers not having the latest type of floor tile.

    And that while stainless steel may be in vogue for refrigerators, it is apparently no longer so for “slabs on which to restrain one’s victim while shooting a laser beam between his legs and taunting him.”

    Go figure.

  8. Anonymous says:

    galapagoes really needs to be put in a giant glass bubble allowing none of our outside influences to get in or its extravigant and amazing life to be let out into our sesspool of a polluted and beat up planet. the entirety of those islands and all its species is a rare and invaluable gift for not only humanity but the creation of our planet and all its inhabitants.(take out the money value and switch it with adoration and pride and perhaps we can save some of these interesting finds and not have to breed them in captivity. YES captivity saves the species, but … it does not allow it free will to live or survive on its own, pretty much captivity is humans way of putting it in a cage, shelving it and letting the kiddies at the zoo walk by and take a peek, what kinda life is that? humans just dont get it yet. i hope u post this, i do not do technology well and i dont sign up to things, but i appreciate being able to let out a comment about something so extraordinary.
    chad in canada.

  9. Talia says:

    These creatures almost ound like they could be the subject of a science fiction story. Someone please write it! :)

    Brave little souls. Go them!

  10. Anonymous says:

    To ensure the bug’s future, make a taste smacking delicacy of it. That will ensure its survival!

  11. Alex_M says:


  12. Anonymous says:

    they may of all been killed due to their efforts of taking over the world…..leave it to humans to breed them to get their population back up so they can take over the world!!!

  13. Keeper of the Lantern says:


    They SAVED that thing?


  14. gramiq says:

    “the barren, rocky spire was thought to be devoid of life …. in 2001 the scientists found a colony of the huge Lord Howe Island stick insects living under a single bush”

    Um, didn’t they notice the bush?

    plants = life, you know.

  15. Anonymous says:

    This post actually makes me quite sad.

    The reason that these insects are there is because we humans never have.

    It wont be long before no place on earth will have been disrupted invaded by us.

  16. thequickbrownfox says:

    I want one, with a USB plug of course!

    Great laptop anti-theft strategy.

  17. CitizenJohnJohn says:

    According to this account the Lord Howe Island phasmid was discovered on Balls Pyramid in 1964:

  18. mdh says:

    life ftw!

  19. Anonymous says:

    this somewhat resembles a cockroach

  20. Nasty says:

    Rare bugs. Cool, I love these bugs now.

  21. Anonymous says:

    A island with six inch long insects! It’s a pity there’s no room for King Kong and all those dinosaurs…

  22. Anonymous says:

    Yet another reason why sausages are awesome.

  23. Pipenta says:

    #16 posted by Anonymous, June 19, 2009 4:11 PM

    “They are currently being bred in captivity.”

    Don’t we have enough insects ? It not as if they were cute :)

    Hey #16. We already have enough humans. Don’t breed.

  24. El Stinko says:

    I hope they at least left some there as they obviously can survive?

  25. Narmitaj says:

    @ 14 – the island is a third of a mile in height, so would easily be visible from cruising altitude, which is about seven miles, even if you’re ten or twenty miles away on the ground.

    After all, from the ground it is easy enough to spot a plane at cruising height, though it is a lot smaller: even an A-380 is only 260 feet across.

  26. Anonymous says:

    hurricane (or are they cyclones in the south Pacific?)? tidal wave? alien entomologists?

    all likely culprits in the insect’s relocation.

  27. HeruRaHa says:

    but, can we eat it?

  28. mdh says:

    the link to the atlas is broke.

  29. 3.14chan says:

    “land lobsters” and “walking sausages”…
    I wonder how they would taste…

  30. TheCrawNotTheCraw says:


    “That island is begging to be bought by a billionaire and equipt with an underground base and a death ray.”

    I’ll think about it. I’m trying to sell my *current* private-island-with-an-underground-base-and-a-death-ray.

    Due to the current economic climate, I am unable to afford *two* such facilities.

  31. Anonymous says:

    @42 It’s not a bug it’s an undocumented feature.

  32. avraamov says:

    this engladdens my heart

  33. Anonymous says:


    Is your current private-island-with-an-underground-base-and-a-death-ray listed on MLS?

  34. demidan says:

    @ 3.14Chan,,, just what I was thinking,,,Mmmmmm sausage,,,

  35. bug_girl says:

    Actually, this is kind of old news.

    I covered tree lobsters last year, and there is now a Tree Lobster Web comic!

  36. 3.14chan says:

    DEMIDAN, Homer hive mind!

  37. mellowknees says:

    That’s really awesome, and I hope I never see one in real life because I think I would freak out and squish it immediately, without thinking.

    As much as my inner nerd is fascinated by bugs, my outer girl gets wiggy about them and tends to smash first, ask questions later.

  38. Bob Doles Communist Doppelganger says:

    Wow, I think I might have seen this island, but didn’t know what it was at the time. About an hour or so into a Sydney -> LA flight I saw this huge spire of rock sticking out of the ocean in the middle of nowhere, but I was never able to figure out what the heck it was.

    Thanks, useful guest blogger!

  39. Anonymous says:

    It’s Like the Video Game Spore

  40. Nadreck says:

    Technically speaking, there must be even rarer, yet existing, bugs with an observed population count of zero. There’s no way that we’ve catalogued more than a fraction of the species out there.

    As all computer scientists know, you’ll never find all the bugs.

  41. rAMPANTiDIOCY says:


    i may be wrong, but i think this island would be impossible to see at cruising altitude.

  42. TroofSeeker says:

    Shame on you ladies, wanting to smash this poor bug because it doesn’t qualify as what you consider “cute”. The males sleep beside a female with legs around their girlfriends. Isn’t that sweet enough to make up for a lack of cuteness? My girl thinks so.

  43. 3.14chan says:

    Mellowknees, you just need to get used to them…

  44. Anonymous says:

    “They are currently being bred in captivity.”

    Don’t we have enough insects ? It not as if they were cute :)

  45. Yamara says:

    According to Wikipedia, the breeding in captivity is going strong, and they now number in the hundreds, with thousands of eggs on the way. Lord Howe’s Island is eradicating its rats, and restoring the native bugs:

    Dryococelus australis

  46. Stefan Jones says:

    #6: The rats give them two paws up.

    * * *

    That island is begging to be bought by a billionaire and equipt with an underground base and a death ray.

    If you look carefully you can see that this island and the rocks in the background are actually on the rim of a sunken crater.

  47. 3.14chan says:

    Once their population were restored will they become lobster substitutes?

  48. Anonymous says:

    Will It Blend?

  49. Takuan says:

    I’m already working on the drawings for the pre-cast concrete skull.

  50. LightningRose says:

    Google Earth doesn’t show anything interesting, but Google Maps clearly shows the remains of the undersea mountain.,-95.677068&sspn=43.307813,59.150391&ie=UTF8&ll=-31.75751,159.248199&spn=1.459586,1.84845&t=h&z=9

  51. JoshP says:

    Did anyone else instantly think, hey, they may only be like d4 or d6, but they are prolly gettin like three hits a round?

  52. mdh says:

    @ stefan jones

    “If you look carefully, Mister Bond, you can see that this island and the rocks in the background are actually on the rim of a sunken crater.”


  53. Anonymous says:

    Cajuns everywhere are planning bug boils.

  54. Anonymous says:

    i really think i saw a similar bug in southern illinois in 1993, or was that a mole cricket?

  55. Anonymous says:

    hmm? wasps species are more rare

  56. sunmaster14 says:

    The article is rubbish. I’ve been to Lord Howe Island 3 times, the first was in 1982 – at that time everyone on the island knew of Dryococelus australis – the Lord Howe Island Stick insect – and it was common knowledge that there were live specimens living on Balls Pyramid.

  57. Anonymous says:

    i hope there are more and then they breed so there is more in the world

  58. heyou says:

    as information on internet.
    They seemed to be extinct species from 1900′s till 2001. but later on, found on this Island.

    so its best example of Lazarus effect.

  59. moth_boy says:

    Some good quality pictures of collection specimens of this insect can be seen here:

    Trivia: if you count the number of segments in the right front leg they are one less than in the left leg. This is because at some stage the immature insect has lost or damaged the right leg, and in subsequent moults has regrown the leg. This is a feature of phasmids (stick insects/walking sticks), and you can pick it because the regrown leg is one segment smaller.

  60. snarkhunter says:

    I doubt the claim that the island is devoid of life. An account of climbing the island mentions “waves of centipedes”.

  61. Takuan says:

    “to centipedes whose venom turned the arms and heads of some bivouacing climbers into touchy, watermelon-sized swellings after torches had dimmed and they could no longer defend themselves with piton hammers. “

  62. Anonymous says:

    @#36 Keeper of the Lantern: Way to keep it classy.

    @#43 TroofSeeker: Hey, as a girl, I for one find stick insects to be pretty much the most adorable insects. I think as a general rule, bigger insects are cuter than small ones. Except for spiders and centipedes. Because with them you realise just how ridiculously large their fangs are.

  63. Anonymous says:

    Ball’s Pyramid is a total land sausage party.

  64. dr80085 says:

    From wikipedia:

    “The behavior of this stick insect is highly unusual for an insect species. The males and females form some kind of a bond. The males follow the females and their activities depend on what the female is doing. During the night the couple sleeps together with three of the male’s legs wrapped around the female.”

    That’ll keep me smiling at the world for a while.

  65. Falcon_Seven says:

    Mmm, walking sausage. Does it taste like chicken or real sausage? Inquiring minds want to know!

  66. Takuan says:

    “During the night the couple sleeps together with three of the male’s legs wrapped around the female.”

    sounds pretty normal to me.

  67. Mindpowered says:

    “This image looks straight at the North ridge. The SE ridge used for the first ascent is visible in sihouette on the right, where one can see the named features such as Gannet Green and Winkelstein’s Steeple (named after the oft-repeated song “Balls to Mr. Winklestein”, that was sung repeatedly in bravado by one of the unsuccessful teams as it endured sea urchin spines and barnacle scratches from the landing, falling rock, and waves of centipedes at the bivouac).”

    Excuse me?