Ctenomorphodes chronus

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Ctenomorpha marginipennis
Ctenomorpha chronus02.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Phasmatodea
Family: Phasmatidae
Genus: Ctenomorphoda
Species: C. marginipennis
Binomial name
Ctenomorphoda marginipennis
Gray, 1833
  • Acrophylla chronus Kaup, 1871
  • Acrophylla scutigera Redtenbacher, 1908
  • Acrophylla tasmanensis Lea, 1902
  • Ctenomorphodes chronus Gray, 1833
  • Ctenomorpha marginipenne Gray, 1833
  • Ctenomorpha oxyacantha Redtenbacher, 1908
  • Ctenomorpha phyllocerca Redtenbacher, 1908
  • Diura chronus Gray, 1833
  • Lopaphus macrotegmus Tepper, 1887

Ctenomorpha marginipennis, commonly called the Margin-winged stick insect, is a species of stick insect endemic to southern Australia.


Ctenomorphoda marginipennis next to matchstick to show scale

C. marginipennis resembles a eucalyptus twig and can grow up to 20 cm in length.[1] The males are long and slender, have full wings and can fly. The females are larger with blackish hind wings. The wings of the females are smaller than those of the males. The legs and head (prothorax) are light pinkish brown, with the legs being dentated. The mesothorax, tegmina, abdomen and leaflets, are all blackish green. The mesothorax may have small tubercles. The abdomen contains numerous small spots. The cerci are extremely long and may be somewhat dentated.[2][3] The nymphs are similar to the older stage, but with only small wing buds instead of the full-length wings of the adults.[2] This species can be distinguished from other members of the family by their extremely long cerci and by the appearance of their eggs.[4]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

This species is quite common in heaths and woodlands from southern Queensland south to Victoria, but prefers coastal environments.[4][2]


The female lays 3 mm elliptical eggs that look like plant seeds.[3] Like most phasmids, C. marginipennis flicks its eggs on the soil, where a little knob called the capitullum attracts ants to carry them to the ant refinery, where they hatch.[5] This species is parthenogenetic.


C. marginipennis feeds on leaves from the eucalyptus tree as well as other tree species. It is a twig mimic, its body shape and coloration making it well camouflaged among eucalyptus twigs.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • 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. Archaeognatha, Zygentoma, Blattodea, Isoptera, Mantodea, Dermaptera, Phasmatodea, Embioptera, Zoraptera. Melbourne: CSIRO Publishing, Australia (ISBN 0643 06035 9). pp. 347 – 376.
  • Brock, P.D. (1999). Review, Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Bulletin of the Amateur Entomological Society, 58: 177-178.
  • Campbell, K. G., Hadlington, P., 1967. The biology of the three species of phasmatids which occur in plague numbers in forests of south eastern Australia. Forestry Commission NSW Res. Note No. 20, 38 pp.
  • Clark, J.T. (1976). The eggs of stick insects (Phasmida): a review with descriptions of the eggs of eleven species. Syst. Ent. 1: 95-105.
  • Hughes, L., 1996. When an Insect is more like a Plant. Nature Australia, 25(4): 30-38
  • Gray, G.R. (1833). The Entomology of Australia in a Series of Monographs. Part 1. The monograph of the genus Phasma. London: Longman & Co. 28 pp. 8 pls
  • Gray, G.R. (1834). Descriptions of several species of Australian Phasmata. Transactions of the Royal Entomological Society of London, i, 1 (7 November), pp. 45–46.
  • Gray, G.R. (1835). Synopsis of the Species of Insects Belonging to the Family of Phasmidae. 48pp. (Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, Green and Longman: London.)
  • Lea, A.M. (1902). Notes on some remarkable Tasmanian invertebrates. Pap. Proc. Royal Society of Tasmania, 1902: 81-82.
  • Readshaw, J. L. (1965). A theory of Phasmatid outbreak release. Australian Journal of Zoology, 13: 475-90
  • Rainbow, W.J. (1897). Catalogue of the described Phasmidae of Australia. Records of the Australian Museum, 3(2), 37-44. [Note that he made a mistake re Extatosoma popa and E. tiaratum according to 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. .]
  • Rentz, D.C.F (1996). Grasshopper Country, Chapter 16, Phasmatodea: Leaf and Stick Insects, pp. 244–257
  • Tepper, J.G.O. (1887). Description of a supposed new species of Phasmidæ. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia, 9 (1885–86): 112-113, pl. vi. [Published March, 1887.]
  • Tepper, J.G.O. (1902). List of the Described Genera and Species of the Australian and Polynesian Phasmidæ (Spectre-Insects). Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia, 26: 278-287.
  • Vickery, V.R. (1983). Catalogue of Australian stick insects (Phasmida, Phasmatodea, Phasmatoptera, or Cheleutoptera). CSIRO Australian Division of Entomology Technical Paper, No. 20, 15 pp.


  1. ^ Hasenpusch, J. & Brock, P. D. (2006). Studies On The Australian Stick Insect Genus Ctenomorpha Gray (Phasmida: Phasmatidae: Phasmatinae), With The Description Of A New Large Species in Zootaxa
  2. ^ a b c Gray, G.R. (1833). The Entomology of Australia in a Series of Monographs. London: Longman & Co (Part 1): 28 pp. 8 pls.  Missing or empty |title= (help);
  3. ^ a b "Stick Insect (Ctenomorpha chronus)". OzAnimals Australian Wildlife. ozanimals.com. Retrieved 2009-08-09. 
  4. ^ a b Miller, Peter (12 Feb 2003). "Ctenomorpha chronus". People telecom and Swiftel. p. 1. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  5. ^ Markle, Sandra (15 December 2007). "6: Lots of eggs". Stick Insects: Masters of Defense. Insect World Ser. (Illustrated ed.). Lerner publications. p. 36. ISBN 0-8225-7296-6. Retrieved 2009-07-05. 

External links[edit]