The biology of the three species of Phasmatids (Phasmatodea) which occur in plague numbers in forests of southeastern Australia

K.G. Campbell and P. Hadlington

Forestry Commission of N.S.W.
Division of Forest Management
Research Note No. 20

[Brief Intro...]

Most species of the Phasmatodea us ually occur in low numbers, but some species have occurred in plagues and in such instances serious defoliation of trees has resulted. Plagues have been recorded from the U.S.A. by Craighead (1950), from Fiji by O'Connor (1949) and from the highland areas of southeastern Australia by various workers.

The species involved in the defoliation of the eucalypt forests of southeastern Australia are Podacanthus wilkinsoni Macl., Didymuria violescens (Leach) and Ctenomorphodes tessulatus (Gray). In north-eastern New South Wales on Mount Warning, P. wilkinsoni, P. viridoroseus (Gray), and D. violescens have occurred in high numbers. P. wilkinsoni and D. violescens occurring on Mount Warning, while apparently the same species as those in the highland forests, differ in the duration of their life cycle, which is related to their diapause behaviour in the egg stage so that their specific status may yet require some clarification.

This page was last changed 20-Sep-2006.