Matt P's picture

Unknown Stick Insect

Observed: 12th May 2010 By: Matt PMatt P’s reputation in Invertebrates
DSCF0011.JPG
Description:

Immature stick insect of unknown species. About .75cm in length.
Found adults in house last year (9-10cm), several young so far this year, so presume they must be breeding in the wild, rather than escapees, which we thought last year. Suspect they might be from a large bramble patch in field hedge, 20 yds from house. I seem to remember that they eat bramble as well as pivet ? There is no privet nearbye.

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

Matt P's picture

Unknown Stick Insect

Immature example (.75cm length). One of several found inside home in the last few days.
Two mature examples (9-10cm) found in house last year were presumed to be escapees, but since young found, assume they must be breeding somewhere nearby ?
Possibly large patch of brambles in hedge some 20yds from house.
No privet in locality.

miked's picture

Is this one green with a red

Is this one green with a red stripe down the back or is it just my eyes.
When I was at school, quite a number of years ago now, we used to collect stick insects from a local privit hedge where there was a long-term colony but they were dull brown.

Matt P's picture

Green with red stripes

Yes you are correct, there is a red stripe down the back of the juvenile examples.
From memory, this was not present on the adult insects. The adults were a bright almost emerald green, unlike the dull grey/green species which we used to keep at school. Also, the adults of this species were highly active and moved quite quickly. I tried, but it was almost impossible to take a decent foto of them as they were constantly moving. Again in contrast to the species which we used to keep, which hardly moved at all, and then only very slowly.

Matt P's picture

Identification

Having read the above comments re the possible identificatin of this species, I've just "googled" it.
Although the information about the species ditribution fits the location very well, any fotos which I can see do not really resemble what I saw last year. I do have some fotos, but they're not good enough for a proper inentification.
It is quite possible that what I saw was not, as I had assumed, fully mature, so it may well be that these are indeed the species which has been suggested.
Interestingly, all the fotos which I've seen show them on bramble leaves. I suppose this may be co-incidental ?

ChrisR's picture

As far as I remember

As far as I remember Acanthoxyla spp. primarily feed on bramble in captivity though they originally came from New Zealand so presumably they have other foodplants back there. If you can rear a small colony through to adulthood they should be fairly easy to identify, by anyone like Paul Brock, who specializes on phasmid taxonomy. They are fairly easy to keep but, being warm-temperate, they do best when kept quite humid and cool, compared to the average house temperature :)

Malcolm Lee's picture

No question Unarmed Stick-insect

It is definitely a newly emerged nymph of the Unarmed Stick-insect, which has been known from Grampound Road since 2000 at least. The New Zealand species will each almost any plant, but bramble is a favourite. More information on our naturalised phasmids here -

http://phasmid-study-group.org/content/Naturalised-British-Stick-Insects...