|An adult male showing its long wing covers.|
|An adult male opening its wings just as it is about to take flight.|
Once they have dried their wings (much like butterflies and other winged insects do), the males are able to fly strongly, and in the wild do so in order to find food and females, or to evade predation. However, I found that initially they were not very active apart from showing increased aggression when handled. During their final moult they also develop longer, curved antennae and larger, more protruding eyes, presumably used to find females both by scent at a distance and then visually when nearer. The wings fold along radial pleats (a bit like a parasol) and have a spotty pattern, and the neck is long and flexible at the joint with the thorax.
|Head-on shot of a male in a threat posture showing well developed eyes and antennae.|
|A male showing a dark red-brown colour and the long neck. The bright dot on top of the head is one of the male's ocelli (simple eyes).|
|A yellow-brown late (5th?) instar male nymph with the long wing-buds just visible behind the right middle leg.|
|Another late-instar (again, 5th?) male nymph, this one pale green in colour, again with the wing-buds visible.|
Sperm transfer takes place in the form of a spermatophore - a packet of sperm in a hard 'shell' which novice insect keepers sometimes mistake for eggs. The spermatophore of E. tiaratum was noted by Clark (1975) and has been well documented since, but it was not until relatively recently that review of research and observations (e.g. Bragg, 1991) concluded that this structure provided the usual method of sperm transfer in the order Phasmida (AKA Phasmatodea). I recently collected an E. tiaratum spermatophore from the floor of one of my containers at home. The photo below shows the outer structure - the thread attaches it to the male during transfer to the female and the sperm-containing sac is 2.5-3mm in diameter, the whole being white with a pink tinge especially where the thread attaches to the sac.
|Spermatophore of E. tiaratum|
Bragg, P.E. (1991). Spermatophores in Phasmida. Entomologist 110(2): 76‑80.
Clark, J.T. (1975). A conspicuous spermatophore in the phasmid Extatosoma tiaratum Macleay. Entomologist's Monthly Magazine 110: 81-82