Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Argosarchus Hutton

This genus contains our largest stick insects and at up to 15 cm have the longest body-length of any New Zealand insect. They are found throughout much of the North Island and large areas of the South  Island. They are commonly found in gardens on ramarama and in the wild on horahora, native and introduced Rubus sp. and climbing ratas. As with most New Zealand stick insects some populations consist of females only (Buckley et al. 2009).

  • Argosarchus horridus (White 1846)
  • Argosarchus spiniger (White 1846)

The descriptions and keys of Salmon (1991) do not allow unambiguous differentiation of Argosarchus horridus from Argosarchus spiniger (White 1846). Furthermore, the type specimen of Argosarchus spiniger is most likely a male of Argosarchus horridus making the former species a synonym of the later. The two species described by Salmon are not able to be differentiated using genetic data (Trewick et al. 2005; Buckley et al. 2009). Phylogeographic study (Buckley et al. 2009) shows evidence of post-glacial population expansion from northern refugia following climatic warming.