ABSTRACT

The Weta (2012) 42(1): 42–43
©New Zealand Entomological Society, Inc.

Research article
Large numbers of Niveamorpha annulata (Hutton, 1898) (Phasmatodea) on the fern Dryopteris affinis (Lowe), Fraser-Jenkins

A. C. Harris 1*

1 Otago Museum, P.O. Box 6202, Dunedin North, New Zealand. Email: Anthony.harris@otagomuseum.co.nz
*Corresponding author.

Abstract: On 5 September 2011 Mr R W Robertson of 27 Northumberland St, North East Valley, Dunedin, reported to me that hundreds of stick insects covered a 48 metre row of ferns growing near an outside wall of his house. When I visited the property later that day, there were indeed several hundreds of Niveamorpha annulata (Hutton, 1898) (Fig. 1), both adults and nymphs, on a continuous row of the exotic, introduced fern Dryopteris affinis (Lowe), Fraser-Jenkins, which extended along the western boundary of the property. The phasmatids ranged in colour from uniform light brown to brown, through yellow, to bright green. The fourth abdominal segments of some females bore large foliose lobes, but these were small in other females, and almost absent in yet others. Adult females ranged in length from 4.8 - 5.2 cm long. In the next-door section (number 29) a line of the native sedge Carex forsteri Wahl. backed onto the neighbour's Dryopteris, and examination revealed over 80 individuals of N. annulata on the sedge plants.
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