This guide is intended to be a warning to anyone thinking of purchasing a stick insect as reptile food.
I have recieved quite a bit of dissapointing feedback and reaction to this article here is my response..
"I have not written this guide to dissuade people from buying these insects because they are sometimes cheaper than our livefoods, but because there is a risk that these insects may have been fed on plants that contain toxins and could be harmfull to your pets, Also all reptiles need a varied diet so an exclusive diet of nutritionally lacking insects could be harmfull and size is also a consideration - there are leaf insects the size of a mans hand being offered for sale as reptile food! And yes there are people new to this hobby who have asked if that item is suitable to feed to their gecko! In our opinion the only instance where it would be safe to feed stick insects to reptiles is if you have maintained your own group of stick insects and know exactly what they have been fed on, you know that what they have been fed will not prove toxic and that you only feed appropriate sized insects. Put it simply a bearded dragon will be able to munch through a small Macleay insect but a leopard gecko might have a struggle on his hands if faced with a 10cm adult Macleay."
Here is the original guide....
Due to ebays listing guidelines only insects that are classed as feeder insects may be sold on ebay, therefore pet insects may not. To counter this Stick insects and mantids are being sold on e-bay with item descriptions clearly stating that they are only to be used as reptile food.
Stick insects and mantids do not make good reptile food and may damage the health of your pet reptile, they do not posess the correct nutrients to be a reptile food, some species may have indigestible body parts and some species may contain toxins that could be harmfull if used as a food.
Insects that are currently recognized and recommend as feeder insects are, Crickets (brown, black, silent, house,field, tri-banded), earthworm (red, giant lob), caterpiller (waxworm, silkworm, butterworm, cutworm), Beetle larvae (mealworm, buffalo worm, Superworm,), Locusts (also known as hoppers), Some reptiles / amphibians may also be fed Woodlice, springtails, fly larvae (maggots) .
Stick insects are listed as reptile food and may look like a big treat for your pet but my advice is dont risk it! You can help this situation by contacting e-bay and suggesting they review their insect policy based on the problems it may cause.