A Guide to the Stick Insects of Australia

By Peter Miller

Podacanthus wilkinsoni,
This web site provides a Field Guide to the Stick Insects of Australia. (Or it will, once it is finished.) It is useful to amateurs and professionals alike in identifying Australian stick insects.

Of course, as a field guide, it leaves a little to be desired, because the Internet is particularly hard to reach while in the field, desktop computers are usually impractical in the field, and even when using this web as a CD-Rom on a laptop, it weighs far too much.

It is my intention, once the research is complete, is to publish this information as book, if this is economically feasible. By making the information available as a web site, it is available earlier and it may be reviewed and critiqued and improved long before it reaches print.


The information is arranged in much the same way as you will find in field guides on other subjects, such as birds or wild-flowers, or whatever.

The Stick Insects

There is information on each species, including photographs and distribution maps whenever possible; and like most field guides it occupies the bulk of the work and is of least immediate value in figuring out what it is that you are looking at.

The stick insects are presented in scientific taxonomic order, as is usual for field guides, but unless you are simply browsing, I suggest you use one of the indexes or keys to find what you are looking for.

Identification Key

The identification key provides you with a step-by-step series of questions, which will eventually lead you to the appropriate web page for the species of stick insect you are looking at.

This is the subject of ongoing research, and will improve over time. Don't expect too much at this stage.

Distribution Map

The distribution map is the collation of all of the distribution maps for each species. It is possible to obtain lists of species by location, just by clicking on the 1° square if interest, which may also assist in identification. (Or provide ``twitcher'' lists for field trips.) Within the species list, just click on the species name and you will be taken directly to the species details.

This is the subject of ongoing research, and will improve over time. Don't expect too much at this stage.


If you know the scientific name of the stick insect you want details about, there is a name list sorted alphabetically. Just click on the species name and you will be taken directly to the species details. Very few Australian stick insects have common names, so there is no common name index.

There is also brief taxonomic outline available for scientists. It isn't especially meaningful to the layman. Just click on the species name, genus name, subfamily name, or family name and you will be taken directly to the relevant details. Researchers may also be interested in the synonym index.


Literature on the Australian Phasmatodea, essential primary source material for constructing this guide, is hard to find and widely scattered. An overall bibliography is included, frequently with abstracts.

The pages describing each species, genus, subfamily and family also include a References section. Where a paper has provided information for a web page, it will be linked so that you may pursue the relevant literature. It will usually be linked to an abstract of the paper.

The Project

A description of the project behind this set of web pages. What it is, why it's being done, and what it would like to be when it grows up.

There is also a What's New page. Please come back every few months to see what has improved since your last visit.

Export Regulations

Sorry. I can't send stick insect eggs overseas. Please don't ask.

Groups and Organisations

Descriptions of Australian groups interested, directly or indirectly, in Stick Insects.
Links to the web sites of other groups and institutions and people around the world.

About the Author

Peter Miller is an amateur stick insect collector and breeder, interested in Australian stick insects since 1994.

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