Black Beauty Stick Insect
This species of stick insect is found in the Cordillera del Condor region of northern Peru. In the wild the insect feeds on Schinus plants, but will feed on privet, Aucuba japonica and honeysuckle in captivity. Sadly, as a result of habitat destruction this species is only found in an area of mountainous forests of about 5 hectares in size.
A large and compact species, females can reach 5.5 cm and are larger than males, which measure 3.8 to 4.3 cm. They have a black body, yellow eyes and red/brownish mouth parts, with adults having bright red vestigial wings. When disturbed, adults of this species are able to spray a defensive liquid from glands at the rear of the head which can be irritating to the skin and eyes.