Walkingstick from Ecuador

Possible Rove Beetle
Location: Andes – Ecuador
January 4, 2011 9:01 pm
I was browsing the web trying to find this beetle I saw in Cajas National Park in Ecuador and came across your website. It seems that someone hiking there sent in a picture of a similar creature.
I was wondering if based on my pictures you could give any more information about what I found.
When this guy walked his tail was flat on the ground, but when I stopped to take a picture of him his tail swung up like you can see it in the picture. My first thought was Scorpion, but then I counted the legs and ruled that out.
Signature: Dan Hall


Dear Dan,
While the jury is still out on the posting you cited, we are confident that you photographed a Phasmid or Walkingstick.  We are going to try to identify the species.  Your letter and photograph also bring up the possibility that the previous posting was also a Phasmid or Walkingstick, though our original comment that including the head in the photograph would assist in the identification still stands.


Identification courtesy of Karl: Monticomorpha semele
Hi Daniel and Dan:
It’s a Walkingstick in the genus Monticomorpha (family Pseudophasmatidae; subfamily Pseudophasmatinae; tribe Anisomorphini). There appear to be seven species in the genus, all but one of which is limited to the northern Andes, and most of which can be eliminated on the bases of color. As far as I can tell, the only species with both reddish legs and head is M. semele (formerly Anisomorpha semele), which is found in both Ecuador and Peru. I can’t be certain but it looks like M. semele may be the species. Regards.  Karl

Thanks so much Karl.  Do you agree that the creature in our previous posting, 2010/03/23/andean-insect-rove-beetle-perhaps/ is also a member of this genus?

Hi Daniel.  All the pictures I have seen for this genus look quite similar and collectively they are very unique (at least I haven’t come across anything else that looks like this). I think they pretty much have to belong to the same genus. K

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