Story: Stick insects

Bristly stick insect

Bristly stick insect

New Zealand’s largest stick insect is the bristly stick insect (Argosarchus horridus). Adult females such as the one climbing on this little girl have bodies up to 14 centimetres long (or 20 centimetres with their forelegs stretched in front of them). The largest stick insect is Phobaeticus serratipes from Malaysia, at 56 centimetres including its legs. Grey or brown, bristly stick insects are notable for the little spines on the thorax and abdomen. Although they might appear monstrous, like all the New Zealand species they are harmless vegetarians.

Using this item

Private collection
Photograph by Steve Trewick

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Steve Trewick, 'Stick insects - Forest phantoms', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 6 October 2022)

Story by Steve Trewick, published 24 Sep 2007