Feeds

Giant stick insect saved from extinction

'Tree lobster' bred in captivity, thanks in part to Dick Smith

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

A colossal stick insect, assumed extinct for 80 years, has been found in the wild, bred in captivity, and now has a population of over 700 awaiting possible repatriation.

Dryococelus australis, commonly known as Tree Lobsters thanks to their tough carapace, are native to Lord Howe Island, a pacific speck belonging to Australia. Specimens have reached 15cm in length.

National Public Radio reports that rats wiped out the insects in the 1920s, but that a 2001 expedition found a colony of 24 on neighbouring Ball's Pyramid, the peak of an ancient volcano.

NPR's account differs from that of Australian Story, which says a 2005 expedition mounted by Dick Smith photographed the colossal stick insect.

But a recent expedition to Ball's Pyramid (first climbed by a team led by Dick Smith), a nearby seamount, found a small colony. Four lobsters were removed to Australia where painstaking efforts led to a successful breeding program.

More than 700 now reside in Melbourne Zoo, awaiting a possible return to Lord Howe Island. Sadly the island still teems with rats, meaning any return would likely see the lobsters devoured again.

It therefore seems unlikely we will all need to welcome our new Tree Lobster overlords.

Updated

The story has been updated to correct the statement that the Tree Lobster is the world's largest insect. A reader suggested New Zealand's Weta holds that crown, but the Malaysian Megastick looks tough to beat.

®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
NASA to reformat Opportunity rover's memory from 125 million miles away
Interplanetary admins will back up data and get to work
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?