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big eaters

Unknown Walkingstick

big eaters
Location: Benguet, Philippines
April 1, 2011 7:29 am
Please help me identify these insects and let me know how best to control them. I believe they are responsible for the leaves (or the lack of). I just moved in to a house in Benguet, Philippines, which is about 1400m/5000ft above sea level. Current temp range is 55-74F (13-23C). I brought a lot of plants with me and noticed these insects in a tree on the other side of the fence. I’m afraid my plants are next.
Signature: G Lee

Walkingsticks

Dear G Lee,
This is some species of Walkingstick or Stick Insect, also known as a Phasmid.  Very few insects are indiscriminate feeders, and you probably do not need to worry about the plants you brought unless they are the same as the plants upon which the Phasmids are currently feeding.  We will try to identify this species, but our initial search did not provide any species name.  Perhaps our readership will be able to contribute to this identification.  The red wings on the larger individuals, presumably the females, are quite distinctive.

Walkingsticks

Hi Daniel and G Lee:
The photos appear to include a combination of adults (or perhaps sub-adults) and juveniles at various stages of development.  I am not certain but I believe they probably belong to the genus Orthomeria. They look quite similar to O. pandora, coincidentally the only species I could definitely place in the Philippines. Compare to the faded museum specimen at the far right in this image, or check out a selection of adult and juvenile images at PhasmaPhils (a site dedicated to Philippine Phasmids).  Most images of adults show prominent red eyes while juveniles have dark eyes, hence, I was wondering if the largest ones in the posted photos are actually fully developed adults. Unfortunately, the species appears to be quite variable in other aspects as well which makes it difficult to be confident, but I believe this is getting close. Regards.  Karl

Update April 8, 2011
Hi.  Thanks for your help.  Here’s another picture I took recently that shows the red-winged one on top of the other.  I thought you might be interested.
The other pic is just for kicks.

Mating Walkingsticks

Hi again G. Lee,
Thanks for the update and also for including the image of the mating pair of Walkingsticks.

Walkingsticks

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Philippines

7 Responses to Walkingstick Outbreak in Philippines

  1. andymaluche says:

    Hi G. Lee. I am a big fan of stickinsects and I am very curious about the ones you found at your place. I wondered if you could send me a bunch to Manila if I compensate you for your effort.

    My website: http://www.dont-touch-my.com/phasmid.list.shtml

    Thanks

    Andy

  2. JPOrtega says:

    I looked at all photos of orthomerias and none of them seem to have the distinctive red wings. O. Pandora males have yellow wings. Unless it belongs to a different genus, I believe it could be a new species. I hope he hasn’t sprayed it with insecticide. Those things need to be studied.

    • bugman says:

      Thanks for your perspective on this matter. Even if they were not a new species, we would frown on the use of insecticides which never seem to target only a single species.

  3. JPOrtega says:

    Absolutely. That goes without saying. I know a few phasmid enthusiasts here in the Philippines who have asked him to send them some samples but have not gotten anything from him. I hope anyone else who has seen these possibly new phasmid up close posts about it.

  4. Kdon Bo says:

    So there is still no definite name for this stick yet? I have also seen these during my last two visits in remotes of Ifugao province. These species emits foul pungent odor, maybe as defense. Local folks also considered it as pest in their ricefields. I’m interested for its name as I labeled it as “Unknown Spotting” at Project Noah.

    http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/1102896005

  5. Ulrico says:

    I´m very interested in this insects ( Orthomeria sp Benquet), especially which plants they eat. In the internet I found the information that they were fed with
    pyracantha and/or neetles, but on the pictures are leaves of other trees. What are the names of these plants?

  6. Pedro Alvaro says:

    These are Orthomeria kangi, recently described species, it was still a new species by the time the pics were posted 🙂

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