Giant Twig Wilter from South Africa: Adult and Nymphs

Unidentified Grasshopper like insect
May 1, 2010
Good day.
I found these strange looking insects in my garden this morning, never seen anything like them before.
There are obviously male and females in the picture, I just can’t seem to phathom out which is which.
Jaco van der Merwe
Gauteng, South Africa

Giant Twig Wilter: Adult and Nymphs

Hi there
I have subsecuently found it on your site as the Giant Twig Wilter”

Hi Joco,
Your insects are Big Legged Bugs or Leaf Footed Bugs in the family Coreidae, and there is a winged adult with five immature nymphs that appear to be in various stages of growth.  We checked your Giant Twig Wilter suspicion, and we believe it is a related but different species.  The nymph from February 2008 we identified as possibly a Giant Twig Wilter, Carlisis wahlbergi.  Our current web search on the Beetles in the Bush website revealed what appears to be an adult of a different species, Petascelis remipes
, identified as a Magodo or Giant Twig Wilter, but it is also in the family Coreidae, an identification matched on the Beetles of Africa website.  Your adult insect matches an image on the Field Guide to Insects of South Africa that is identified as Carlisis wahlbergi, back to our original identification in 2008, and this information is provided:  “Identification:  Medium-sized (body length 20-26 mm).  boldly marked, with tan and black fore wings, and white- and black-banded antennae and abdominal margins.  Hind legs enlarged.  Biology:  As many as 9,000 individuals recorded on single Gardenia volkensii shrubs, which then failed to flower but did not wilt.  Can spray defensive secretion up to 15 cm.  Habitat:  Bushveld and gardens.”  This exactly matches our own identification in January 2007.  Alas, the link we used to identify it is no longer active.

4 thoughts on “Giant Twig Wilter from South Africa: Adult and Nymphs”

  1. Yes, this species is edible.
    I’ve conversed with a writer from the area of Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique about this species, and it’s an interesting story: as they’re gathered, the collector rubs the scent gland against a branch or rock. Overall their collection and preparation is quite similar to that of Thasus, the large Coreids of Mexico and parts of AZ and California.


  2. Hi

    I found these giant twig wilter nymphs in my garden and i am afraid that it might be poisenous.

    please let me know as there are alot of them on my gardenia at home.


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