Following an international breeding program to prevent a critically endangered species of stick insects from going extinct, Bristol Zoo has announced that the first of the insect eggs have hatched.
The rare species are commonly known as the Lord Howe Island stick insects, and have been dubbed as ‘the rarest insect in the world’.
They were thought to have been wiped out in 1920 following the arrival of black rats on the Lord Howe Islands, before a miniscule population of 24 insects were discovered and rescued in 2001.
Descending from a breeding pair known as Adam and Eve, the zoo currently holds 300 insect eggs, with 38 successful hatchlings so far, with hopes that Bristol Zoo will boast one of the first collections outside of Australia to successfully breed the species.
Mark Bushell, curator of invertebrates at Bristol Zoo, said: ‘To see these precious stick insect nymphs finally emerging from their tiny eggs is absolutely incredible, a real career highlight.
‘We are doing everything we can to ensure these youngsters have the absolute best start in life, as they will be critical in enabling us to establish breeding populations of this species.’
For more information see Bristol Zoo or call 0117 974 7300.
Wednesday 20 January 2016
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