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.

®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
Volcanic eruption in Iceland triggers CODE RED aviation warning
Lava-spitting Bárðarbunga prompts action from Met Office
NASA to reformat Opportunity rover's memory from 125 million miles away
Interplanetary admins will back up data and get to work
Major cyber attack hits Norwegian oil industry
Statoil, the gas giant behind the Scandie social miracle, targeted
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
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?