Giant Malayan Stick Insect (Tirachoidea westwoodii)

From Pet Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Giant Malayan Stick Insect
Tirachoidea westwoodii
Giant Malayan Stick Insect (Tirachoidea westwoodii)
Name Giant Malayan Stick Insect
Name Lat. Tirachoidea westwoodii
Synonym Pharnacia westwoodii
Family Walking Sticks
Family lat. Phasmatidae
Order Phasmids
Order lat. Phasmatodea
Origin Southeast Asia
Habitat Tropical forest
Diet Fresh rose-family leaves
Humidity 70-80 %
Behavior Peaceful
Keeping Individual, group
Care Level Easy
Housing Humid terrarium
Breeding Simple
Life Span 6 months
Protection No
Metric Units
Size 18-28 cm
Temperature Day 24-28 °C
Temperature Night 20-22 °C
Housing Size 80 x 60 x 100 cm
US Units
Size 7"-11"
Temperature Day 75-82 °F
Temperature Night 68-72 °F
Housing Size 30" x 25" x 40"

Distribution and habitat

The Malayan Giant Stick Insects belong to the largest species of stick insects and are native to the Malay Peninsula. There the animals live well camouflaged in the foliage of tropical rainforests and secondary vegetation.


A terrarium of at least 80 x 60 x 100 cm (L x W x H) is recommended for a small group. A terrarium with a cover made of gauze or fine metal mesh is best. The terrarium should be placed in a quiet place without sunlight

They need climbing opportunities, such as cork backs, twigs and branches, which also serve as food plants. In order to keep them fresh for a longer time, they should be served in narrow-necked, well-sealed (danger of drowning), stable containers (e.g. vase). Suitable substrate is terrarium humus or a soil-sand mixture covered with moss, which should always be kept slightly moist. Daily, preferably in the evening, the insectarium should be finely sprayed with water inside (humidity), but a rain or fog system is better. Waterlogging should be avoided at all costs. Good ventilation is especially important.

Daytime temp: 24-28 °C Temp. night: 20-22 °C Humidity: 70-80

Light sources that also produce the necessary heat are ideal. The lighting duration should be 8-12 hours, depending on the season


The food supply consists of fresh leaves of blackberry, honeysuckle (Lonicera nitida), laburnum, elderberry and ivy (Hedera helix), as well as leaves of ferns. Leaves of other roses and rose plants, such as red and hawthorn, raspberry, currant, wild rose, etc., as well as the leaves of beech, oak, linden, hazel, eucalyptus or sweet chestnut and apple tree, are also accepted in different ways individually. Blackberries are ideal as food in winter, as they remain green. Spraying the forage plants allows the animals to satisfy their drinking needs. Additionally, a wick waterer is recommended. Eaten branches, dried and rotten leaves must be removed regularly

A varied diet promotes the well-being of the animals.

Reproduction and breeding

Both sexes have a beige, brownish or greenish base coloration with small spots and long extended front legs. The females are significantly larger than the slimmer males.

Reproduction is sexual, but in the absence of males, asexual reproduction is also possible (facultative pathenogenesis).

Females lay eggs about 5 mm in size by flinging them far into the enclosure. After about 5-6 months at a temperature of about 28 °C the nymphs hatch, which are relatively large with almost 2 cm.

Males and females are adult after about 6 months. After the last moult (imaginal moult) the animals can live for about 6 months.


The Malayan Giant Stick Insects resemble branches with their shape and coloration (branch mimesis).

For molting, they hang upside down in the branches or on the lattice cover and slide out of their old shell. Therefore, they need at least a whole body length of free space below them.

Before purchasing, a terrarium should be prepared that meets the species specific needs. Good ventilation without drafts is necessary, as well as equipment for measuring temperature and humidity. The lighting has to correspond to the species-specific day-night rhythm and has to be installed in such a way that the animals cannot injure themselves

The terrarium should be locked in such a way that neither unauthorized persons can open it nor the animals can escape. Special attention must be paid to thorough hygiene and impurities must be removed regularly

Further literature can be found in your pet store


Text: petdata; Image: petdata

Source: SEILER, BRADLER, KOCH (2000): Ratgeber Phasmiden, Verlag Bede; ENGELMANN & LANGE (2011): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Wirbellose, Harri Deutsch Verlag