Stick insect eggs have a hard outer shell that is resistant to being crushed or digested. When a predator eats a stick insect, the eggs are not affected and pass through the predator's digestive system intact. When the predator defecates, the eggs are dispersed in the surrounding environment.
Birds, lizards, and small mammals are the most common predators of stick insects. They feed on the insects and their eggs, and the eggs are dispersed when the predators defecate.
Yes, this is a very common method of dispersal for stick insect eggs. In fact, it is the primary method of dispersal for many species of stick insects.
There are some risks to the stick insect eggs when they are dispersed by being eaten. If the predator's digestive system is too acidic or if the eggs are exposed to extreme temperatures, they may not survive. However, stick insect eggs are adapted to withstand these risks and a large number of eggs are typically produced to increase the chances of survival.
The distance that stick insect eggs can be dispersed by being eaten depends on the size and mobility of the predator. Birds, for example, can disperse the eggs over a larger distance than smaller predators like lizards. However, stick insect eggs are often dispersed within a relatively close range of their original location, as many predators tend to stay in a specific area for feeding.