Mating Mayer’s Walkingsticks: Rare species from the Florida Keys

Subject: Phasmid Halopus meyeri
Location: Florida Keys
May 5, 2014 12:09 pm
I’ve found some Phasmids in the keys and it was suggested I put pics of them up on but couldn’t seem to find a real person to help so I thought I’d share here…
Here is Haplopus meyeri…I don’t think they have been posted here before.
Signature: Tim Borski

Mating Walkingsticks
Mating Mayer’s Walkingsticks

Dear Tim,
BugGuide is a far more egalitarian website than our own as anyone can post images to BugGuide, while here at What’s That Bug?, we are control freaks that individually select which images and letters to post.
  Your submission has us very curious, but it brings up many more questions than we can answer.  First, the name in your subject differs from the name in the body of your message where there is an additional “p”.  Furthermore, we cannot locate any information on the web regarding either spelling except a Facebook posting on the Invertebrate Studies Institute’s Facebook Page, and the entry cites you as the donor who provided a mating pair.  The information provided there, which includes yet a different name spelling with an “a” replacing one “e” in the species name, is:  “RARE phasmid species from the Florida Keys – CUTE baby one! Haplopus mayeri ! We just had 2 hatch from eggs today! Earlier in 2013 we were generously sent 1 adult mating pair by Tim Borski! You can see one of them feeding on the only foodplant that they are reported to eat: a semi-rare plant called “Bay Cedar” (Suriana maritima). We are hoping to find other plants that it can eat and breed them. Eventually we would like to do a population survey to see if this species is actually endangered or threatened. The species lives in areas near the Florida coast in places like Biscayne National Park and the keys – prime real estate!”  Where did you get your Phasmid or Walkingstick identified?  We are guessing that Haplopus mayeri is the proper spelling.
Armed with that information, we returned to internet research and we located your images on FieldHerpForum and one of your comments contains the identification 
Haplopus (Aplopus) mayeri, however, there is no source cited.  Phasmida has images of mounted specimens, including holotype and paratype images.  Taxonomy and other information including the common name Mayer’s Walkingstick can be located at Encyclopedia of Life, ITIS, Animal Diversity Web  and Global Species.  There are very few images of living specimens online, and we feel very lucky that you are allowing us to post your images. 

Female Mayer's Walkingstick
Female Mayer’s Walkingstick

I apologize for the inconsistencies but I was frustrated with BugGuide and typing fast…just trying to salvage my efforts in futility there. Here’s a pic of a mating pair.
Btw, it was my pic on FHF.
Sorry for the confusion,

Thanks Tim,
You already sent us this image.  Where did you get the proper identification?

Dr Aaron T.  Dossey at Invertebrate  Studies Institute. I have many pics of them, including the eggs. I sent them to Aaron and he hatched some. I was told they fed on Bay cedar but Aaron told me they were eating Black berry leaves(?)  Tthe last one I found (a week or so ago) was on a Sea grape tree. I was hunting snakes after dark and one of my boys encountered it. I brought it home and it fed off those leaves until I sent her to Aaron. She was a sub adult.  Btw, thank you for following up and being helpful.


Leave a Comment