The black beauty stick insect… Does it really live up to its name? We’re not quite sure. It’s certainly black, and stunning golden eyes and tiny, ruby-red wings look magnificent against the lovely dark exoskeleton. But somehow, we think its face is not so fitting of its name. This little critter is more like a “stick-insect-meets-emperor-scorpion” hybrid with its curled back segmented abdomen, but it’s definitely one of the most unique-looking stick insects in the invertebrate pet trade. The black beauty stick insect is a medium-large stick insect that eats privet and honeysuckle. Unlike most stick insects, the black beauty stick insect is not parthenogenic and requires a male to reproduce. Interestingly, the black beauty stick insect was a rare and previously endangered insect from Peru. But, with efforts from the government, the species was saved and have since been widely kept as pets around the world.
Despite its previously endangered status, this insect has a large thriving population as pets all around the globe where they are adored for their unique nature and physical appearance. Black Beauty Stick Insects are herbivorous and primarily feed on a variety of leaves. In captivity, they can be provided with a diet consisting of various foliage, such as bramble, oak, rose, and ivy leaves. These are incredibly low-maintenance pets that should be provided with a reasonably large enclosure, typically made of fabric mesh, along with a consistent source of fresh leaves. Peruphasma schultei prefer a warm, humid environment with hiding spaces such as leaves, twigs, and any other natural decor items. This species develop gorgeous red budwings after maturity, which they display whenever stressed or irritated to ward off predators. Unlike other species, the black beauty stick bug is not parthenogenic, meaning they require both male and female stick insects to reproduce. Both males and females look similar, however females are slightly chunkier, and males are thin. This species can grow up to 4 inches long, with females usually being smaller. Unlike other stick insects, black beauty stick insects are active and will wander around their enclosure and happily upon anyone that picks them up. They can safely be handled given that they are held in a gentle manner. Overall, these are wonderful, unique stick insects in appearance, personality, and temperament. We highly recommend them to new and experienced invertebrate keepers, even if they aren’t the most ‘conventional’ looking insects.