perfectly still

Lying perfectly still on the carpet in my room, at about three o clock in the afternoon on saturday, moving in and out of dreaming and acute awareness of the blood pumping through my body, thinking for a moment about the vietnamese walking stick bug, which is in order of insects called
Phasmatodea.

phasma is from the latin for ghost, referring to their excellent camouflage, which includes their ability to be perfectly still for hours and hours.

several of these walking stick bugs live in a glass enclosure at the education center where I work, and i stop by the welcome desk to watch their usually unmoving bodies
clinging to cut branches of multiflora rose.

the lifespan of a vietnamese walking stick bug is about five to seven months. they do not need mates to reproduce. there are only females in the glass enclosure, and they have been successfully breeding (parthenogenetically) for about
eight years.