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