westernman's picture


Observed: 14th August 2011 By: westernman
Species interactions

No interactions present.


westernman's picture

Stick Insect

Photographed after dark hence white background the insect is now resident on a small Larch Tree outside the kitchen window. Question is what should I do with it as it not indigenous to this part of the world or is it.

Michael Skelton's picture

Stick insect

It could be the very similar Unarmed Stick-insect, Acanthoxyla inermis. Both species are established in west Cornwall.

Refugee's picture

West midlands

I have been shown a stick insect that was found in the east midlands in the 1970s. Just let it enjoy living in your tree and it should be able to find a hibernating hole for the winter.


gullrockportgaverne's picture

St Ives Stick-insect

I collate all the records of the naturalised stick-insects found in the south west, and can confirm your specimen is indeed the Unarmed Stick-insect.

The Unarmed Stick-insect originates from New Zealand, and has been known from Cornwall since the 1920s at least. They can be either brown or green, with green being the more common. All the ones you see are female, laying fertile eggs without the need for a male (which are unknown even in New Zealand, and probably do not exist); a process known as parthenogenesis. They have an annual life cycle, hatching from the eggs in spring and grow quickly to become adult by summer. Adults have a body length of about 10 cm/4 inches and are the longest UK insect. Adults do not live very long, with few surviving much into winter. In their brief adult lives they can lay several hundred eggs, which just drop below the bush the insect was feeding on, to start the life cycle again the following spring. A very small number might overwinter in sheltered areas but this is not important for the survival of the species. It is the eggs laid in summer and autumn which carry them through from one year to the next.

Yours is the first record from St Ives, although they are found in nearby Zennor, Hayle and Penzance.

I do have an information sheet giving more information on these intriguing insects, and if you use the Phasmid Study Group link below and report your sighting it will come to me so I can email it to you.

Kind regards

Malcolm Lee


Refugee's picture

I aggree (escaped pet though)

What i was shown looks the same and was seen on the clothing of another teenager whom had been running through vegetation in managed woodland around about summer 1974 close to Burton on Trent.
Escaped pet maybe?
I think they did sell them for a while as pets around about that time.
They must be able to fly though if not an escape...