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Mysterious New Stick Insect

Entomologist Oskar Conle discovered a stick insect with very unusual colorings in Mount Halcon, the Philippines, and fellow scientists agreed that it's a new species. Meet Conlephasma enigma:

"Another unique characteristic is the spectacular colour pattern. [A male] has dark bluish-green head and legs, and a bright orange body with distinctive bluish-black triangle-shaped spots on its back," he adds.

It is more likely that the insect uses these striking colours to warn off predators, rather than as a form of camouflage.

"In fact we have discovered that the new stick insect has the ability to release a potent defensive spray from glands located behind its head.

"The defensive substance is sprayed when the insect feels threatened, and has a strong distasteful smell, which likely functions to repel potential predators in a similar way to skunks," says Mr Gottardo.


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