Phoenix Group

Evolutionary Ecology & Genetics

@ Te Taha Tawhiti Massey

Details about New Zealand stick insects can be found in these books writen by Steve Trewick and Mary Morgan-Richards: "New Zealand Stick Insects" in the NZ Wild series published by Reeds in 2005, and also in "New Zealand Wild Life" published by Penguin Books, Auckland in 2014.

stick bookNZ wild life book

Currently the New Zealand stick insect fauna comprises about 23 species in 11 genera. Distinguishing genera and species is not always easy, but the shape of their eggs is very helpful.

stickinsect eggs

Some species have smooth coats like this Tectarchus sp. Others, like this Spinotectarchus appear hairy. Whilst others have pits and wrinkles like this Acanthoxyla.
close up of stick insect egg
Spinotectarchus egg
Acanthoxyla egg


Our current research deals with morphological variation of stick insects and their eggs, and the evolutionary and ecological significance of sexual and asexual reproduction.