Sometimes, the littlest things have the biggest impact. That’s the philosophy behind the Insect House in the San Diego Zoo’s Discovery Outpost. Opened in 2003, it has terrariums set into the walls to showcase stick insects as well as leafcutter ants, roaches, beetles, scorpions, spiders, and bees, giving you a rare opportunity to marvel at the planet’s spineless wonders.
Currently, our resident stick insects include jungle nymphs, leaf insects, Children’s stick insects, MacLeay’s spectres, New Guinea stick insects, and Lord Howe Island stick insects.
Temperature and humidity are monitored and adjusted to suit each individual species’ preferences. Full-spectrum lights illuminate each terrarium, providing the animals with the same range of light waves they would get naturally from the sun. Volunteers are on hand to answer questions and help you find what you’re looking for. Be sure to ask to see the stick insects!
All stick insects are vulnerable from human encroachment, pesticides, and habitat destruction. The Lord Howe Island stick insect Dryococelus australis is critically endangered. The San Diego Zoo is working closely with the Melbourne Zoo to establish a satellite colony. They are being reared off exhibit, and our participation is still in its early stages, but the Melbourne Zoo has been successfully rearing them for several years.