A Guide to the Stick Insects of Australia
The Project

The motivation for the guide was simple: I was going bush-walking and wanted to know what species to look for in the area I would be walking in.

A very small amount of research revealed that not only there was no such thing available, there was not even anything vaguely similar. Phasmid information in general was sparse and inaccessible.

And so this project was born.

Project Goals

The project is driven by the following goals
  1. producing a guide containing all known Australian Phasmatodea species, one page for each, to include photographs, descriptions, diagnostic data and a distribution map derived from sightings data.
  2. The combined distribution data to be inverted, yielding a distribution map of Australia, and species lists by area.
  3. To produce an interactive identification key to the Australian Phasmatodea, to facilitate the identification, particularly in the field, on live specimens.
  4. Collecting the existing published papers into a single collection, making them more available to researchers and amateurs.

Project Outcomes

  1. The aim of this project is to produce a web site which would contain at least the following:
  2. HTML, the underlying WWW text and image storage, is a relatively simple format, and is readily distributed in a usable form on a CD-Rom. The web site could be distributed to interested organisations and individuals for the cost of reproduction of the CD-Rom and postage. With modern technology, this would be approximately AU$5.00 (plus the cost of the CD-Writer, amortized over the number of CDs). (If you would like buy a copy, let me know.)
  3. It would be possible to turn the web contents into a printed reference book, if it ever becomes economically feasible. Recent print-on-demand technologies may make this possible. (If you would buy a copy, let me know, so I can have a better idea of the actual demand.) It is reliably estimated that about 500 copies would be sold, world wide.


This project needs the following information
  • Species lists
  • Photographs of each species
  • Descriptions of each species
  • An identification key
  • Sightings data, as widely spread as possible cross the entire continent.
This information could be collected from
  • Published papers
  • Insect Collections
  • Professional entomologists
  • Amateur entomologists
  • The public
This project will produce material useful to
  • Collection Curators
  • Professional entomologists
  • Amateur entomologists
  • Students
  • The public

Project Activities

Project Timetable

I started work, according to my notes, on 14-Jul-98. It wasn't until 20-Jun-99 that this page was first written, that I had something I was ready to show folks. First uploaded to the web 28-Jun-99.

At this point, I can't begin to guess when the project will be finished, or even when things will happen. Much depends on how many interested people climb aboard (hint) and what enthusiasms they bring with them.

I'd like to start visiting the Australian collections late in 1999. This will probably go on for several years. It would be nice to visit the last of them before 2005.

Volunteer Activities

For this project to succeed, volunteers all over Australia are required. If you would like to rear your local species, there are some observations you can make.

Project Funding


Would you like to make a donation? E.g. air fares to the various collections around Australia, free web server space (many megabytes), lending photographic equipment when visiting collections, contributing time, effort or material for web publishing, etc.

Project Staffing

About the Author
One. Me, Peter Miller. Well, much less than one, actually: I have a day job.

Volunteers, participants, assistants, you-name-it: all welcome.

Recent Change History

The entire project is carefully recorded. The recent change history is available.

Mysteries and Puzzles

I have found a number of mysteries and puzzles during the literature search.
Copyright © 2000-2003 Peter Miller
This page was last changed 20-Sep-2006.
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