Family Phasmatidae Roberts, 1944

Subfamily Eurycanthinae

This subfamily, also known as Land Lobsters, is mainly Papuan in distribution, but a few species have been recorded from the Cape York area.

Subfamily Lonchodinae

Wingless; occur on herbacious vegetation and grasses.

Subfamily Pachymorphinae

These species are rather small, dun-coloured, apterous phasmatids with short antennae.

Subfamily Palophinae

This subfamily is mainly African in distribution, represented in Australian by three outlier species.

Subfamily Phasmatinae

This is a prominent group with an Australia-wide distribution. The species are mainly large, winged and stick-like.

Subfamily Platycraninae

This subfamily occurrs mainly on the islands to the north of Australia, and has one Australian representative.

Subfamily Tropidoderinae

This is the most characteristically Australian group, with an Australia-wide distribution. It comprises mainly large, winged species, which resemble leaves rather than twigs, although they are not markedly flattened.

Subfamily Xeroderinae

This subfamily is mainly Papuan and Melanesian in distribution, and is represented by two little-known species from Queensland.


The Phasmatidae family has a large number of unplaced genera. They have been grouped here until a correct and agreed taxonomy appears in the literature.

Identification Key

Typical stick insects. About 95 Australian species are known. Only 8 of the 10 sub-families are represented in Australia.


The distribution map is a hot-linked index. By clicking on a highlighted area of the map, you may obtain a species list for that area, within this family.


  • Balderson, J., Rentz, D.C.F. and Roach, A.M.E. (1998). in Houston, W.K.K. & Wells, A. (1998) (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Vol. 23. Archaeognatha, Zygentoma, Blattodea, Isoptera, Mantodea, Dermaptera, Phasmatodea, Embioptera, Zoraptera. Melbourne: CSIRO Publishing, Australia (ISBN 0643 06035 9). pp. 347 - 376.
  • Bradley, J.C., and Galil, B.S. (1977). The taxonomic arrangement of the Phasmatodea with keys to the subfamilies and tribes. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington, 79(2): 176-208.
  • Gurney, A.B. (1947). Notes on some remarkable Australasian walkingsticks, including a synopsis of the Genus Extatosoma (Orthoptera: Phasmatidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 40(3): 373-396.
  • Key, K.H.L. (1970). Phasmatodea (Stick-insects). pp. 394-404 in CSIRO (ed.) The Insects of Australia. A textbook for students and research workers. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, Vol. 1, 1st Edn.
  • Kirby, W.F. (1904). A Synonymic Catalogue of Orthoptera. 8vo. Vol. 1. Orthoptera, Euplexoptera, Cursoria, et Gressoria (Forficulidæ, Hemimeridæ, Blattidæ, Mantidæ, Phasmidæ). London: Longmans & Co. x 501 pp.
  • Latreille, P.A. (1817). Les Crustacés, Les Arachnides et Les Insectes, being volume three of Cuvier, G.L.C.F.D. (1817). Le Régne animal distribué d'après son Organisation, pour servir de Base à l'Histoire naturelle des Animaux et d'Introduction à l'Anatomie comparée. Five volumes. Paris.
  • Rentz, D.C.F (1996). Grasshopper Country, Chapter 16, Phasmatodea: Leaf and Stick Insects, pp. 244-257

Copyright © 2000-2003 Peter Miller
This page was last changed 20-Sep-2006.
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