The Phasmatidae are a family of the stick insects (order Phasmatodea). They belong to the superfamily Anareolatae of suborder Verophasmatodea.[1]

Temporal range: Cenomanian–Recent
Giant Stick Insect (Bactrododema tiaratum).jpg
Bactrododema tiaratum
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Phasmatodea
Infraorder: Anareolatae
Family: Phasmatidae
Roberts, 1944
10 subfamilies (but see text)

Phasmidae Gray, 1835

Like many of their relatives, the Phasmatidae are capable of regenerating limbs and commonly reproduce by parthenogenesis. Despite their bizarre, even threatening appearance, they are harmless to humans.

The Phasmatidae contain some of the largest insects in existence. The recently discovered Chan's megastick (Phobaeticus chani) of the Clitumninae (sometimes placed in the Phasmatinae) can grow to a total length of over 0.5 m (20 in)[citation needed]; it is the longest living insect known.


Following the Phasmid Study Group, nine subfamilies are recognized in the Phasmatidae. Other treatments differ, sometimes recognizing as few as six.[1]

The Lonchodinae were historically often placed in the Diapheromeridae, the other family of the Anareolatae. The Phasmatinae are often expanded to include the two tribes here separated as the Clitumninae, while the Extatosomatinae may be similarly included in the Tropidoderinae as a tribe.

The Phasmid Species File[2] currently lists:

In addition, the extinct subfamily Echinosomiscinae is known from the genus Echinosomiscus from the Burmese amber.[3]

In addition, a number of Phasmatidae taxa are here considered incertae sedis:[1]

Consequently, numerous taxa are transferred or re-transferred to other genera, which results in 22 new or revised combinations or status of genera and species.

Male Phobaeticus chani, "Chan's megastick", the world's longest insect species[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "Phasmatidae". Phasmida SpeciesFile. Phasmid Study Group. September 28, 2009. Retrieved April 19, 2011.
  2. ^ Phasmida Species File (Version 5.0/5.0)
  3. ^ Engel, Michael S.; Wang, Bo; Alqarni, Abdulaziz S. (August 2016). "A thorny, 'anareolate' stick-insect (Phasmatidae s.l.) in Upper Cretaceous amber from Myanmar, with remarks on diversification times among Phasmatodea". Cretaceous Research. 63: 45–53. doi:10.1016/j.cretres.2016.02.015.
  4. ^ "World's Longest Insect Revealed". Natural History Museum. 16 October 2008.

Further readingEdit

  • Balderson, J., Rentz, D.C.F. and Roach, A.M.E. (1998). in Houston, W.K.K. & Wells, A. (1998) (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Vol. 23. Melbourne: CSIRO Publishing, Australia. pp. 347–376.
  • Bradley, J.C., and Galil, B.S. (1977). The taxonomic arrangement of the Phasmatodea with keys to the subfamilies and tribes. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington, 79(2): 176–208.
  • Gurney, A.B. (1947). Notes on some remarkable Australasian walkingsticks, including a synopsis of the Genus Extatosoma (Orthoptera: Phasmatidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 40(3): 373–396.
  • Key, K.H.L. (1970). Phasmatodea (Stick-insects). pp. 394–404 in CSIRO (ed.) The Insects of Australia. Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, Vol. 1.
  • Kirby, W.F. (1904). A Synonymic Catalogue of Orthoptera. 8vo. Vol. 1. Orthoptera, Euplexoptera, Cursoria, et Gressoria (Forficulidæ, Hemimeridæ, Blattidæ, Mantidæ, Phasmidæ). London: Longmans & Co. x 501 pp.
  • Latreille, P.A. (1817). Volume 3: Les Crustacés, Les Arachnides et Les Insectes, Cuvier, G.L.C.F.D. (1817). Le Régne Animal. Paris.
  • Rentz, D.C.F (1996). Grasshopper Country, Chapter 16, Phasmatodea: Leaf and Stick Insects, pp. 244–257.

External linksEdit