This is the black beauty stick insect, a rare species only found in a tiny 12-acre area high in the mountains of northern Peru. Only discovered in 2005, not much is known about these insects, but they are believed to be most active at night when their deep black coloration keeps them hidden from predators. They are also armed with a gland at the rear of their heads which, when threatened, can spray a corrosive, strong-smelling substance. Because their natural habitat is so small, their survival is precarious—thankfully, captive breeding efforts may bring these insects back from the brink.

Get an introduction to the Peruvian Peruphasma schultei in this video by Great Big Story.

Watch these videos next: The brightly-colored Achrioptera fallax, a critically-endangered Lord Howe Island Stick Insect hatching, and a twig-like Indian Walking Stick insect eating a leaf.

Bonus: Leaf Mimic Katydids.

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