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Acanthoxyla inermis (Salmon, 1955)

Unarmed Stick-insect

Taxonomy: Phasmida>>Phasmatidae

Status: British Isles non-native species.

Description: Green or brown. The Unarmed Stick-insect and the Smooth Stick-insect appear similar at first glance. They can distinguished because the Smooth Stick-insect has a near continuous black line along its thorax, has pointed cerci, and has no opercular spine, whereas the Unarmed Stick-insect has a black line on the pronotum only, has rounded cerci, and has a stout opercular spine.

Size: About 90 - 105 mm.

Food: Herbivorous.

Habitat: Native to New Zealand. Recorded in the UK (predominantly Devon and Cornwall distribution). Two likely periods of introduction 1920’s and 1970’s.

Phenology: Adult insects can be seen from April through to December. The species can breed parthenogenetically, that is, eggs develop without the need for fertilization by a male. Indeed, Acanthoxyla males are unknown, even in their native country.

Distribution: The records held by the National Biodiversity Network are shown in the map below.
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