Today Dr Phil Bragg (a member of the Phasmid Study Group) described a new species of stick insect (Phobaeticus chani)in the Journal Zootaxa that beats the previous record (Phobaeticus kirbyi) that has stood for over 100 years.
I hope to get some photographs for here really soon, but for those of you who can get there it is currently on display in the Creepy Crawlies gallery at the Natural History Museum, London. After this it will be returned to the main collections where it can be studied by scientists from around the world.
Thursday, 16 October 2008
Tuesday, 7 October 2008
Click to enlarge photo. Copyright John Randall.
This came to me via the Phasmid Study Group website, while it is not actually a phasmid (stick insect) it is a closely related insect, a grasshopper (Acridinae). The species was identified as Truxalis nasuta (Linnaeus) by Judith Marshall (NHM). The speciemn shown is from Cyprus, the species has a circum-Mediterranean distribution.
Photo Copyright Royal Horticultural Society
Despite the name Chrysolina americana this species is native to Southern Europe, and has been recently introduced into the UK, where it can be a minor pest of Lavender and Rosemary plants. The Royal Horticultural Society has a page about this beetle that has lots of useful information.
I have seen this beetle in the vicinity of Clapham South London Undergorund station , and outside of Darwin Centre phas 1, Natural History Museum, London.
Copyright Ed Baker