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PEPPERMINT STICK INSECT
The Peppermint Stick Insect (Megacrania batesii) has a very small and patchy distribution along some beach areas in Cape Tribulation, Innisfail and Mission Beach. It feeds only on a few species of Pandanus plants and these spikey-leaved palms also provide some shelter from predators. The Peppermint Stick Insect spends all its time on the Pandanus, feeding, sheltering, mating and laying its eggs on the leaves where they roll down to the tight-fitting leaf axil to 'incubate'. Why is it called the Peppermint Stick Insect? As a defense mechanism, it sprays an irritating fluid at any predators (which include curious tourists) and this fluid smells like peppermint.