#30DaysWild Today’s random act of wildness, by request from our guests in Balebarn Eco Lodge, is to look up and report back on this beastie. It seems it’s a Water Stick Insect, reaching up to 7cm long if you include it’s long tail-end snorkel.
Ian and the guests found it climbing out of the Wheatland Farm wildlife pond when they went to get the boats out. Apparently, it hunts tadpoles and other small creatures in ponds, using its tail end as a breathing tube. But it can also climb out of the water to find food among the grasses – and does so, particularly on hot days. So perhaps that’s what it was doing, lumbering about in an ungainly fashion on some soaking willow wands.
The water stick insect’s Latin name is Ranatra linearis. It’s a ‘lay in wait’ predator that also uses camouflage for protection: as this picture shows it could easily be overlooked as a bit of stick!
This time last year: Specked Wood Butterfly
This time in 2017: A Crab Spider Lays in Wait