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.
image/text credit: Great Big Story
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.
The Black Beauty Stick Insect has a velvet-black body covered in minute bristles (setae). The eyes range from yellow to pale orange and mouthparts are generally red brownish (if yellow mouthparts there are light pink sections to the hind wings).
Adults have bright red vestigial hind wings; there are rudimentary black and white mottled forewings that are leathery and disc-like. They have a largish head, slightly flattened at the top, with long antennae, black at the base with a white tip.