Friday, 30 March 2012

It's a Parapodacanthus hasenpuschorum Year!

Insect populations wax and wane. This is illustrated in the blog below on the Carabid beetle in excessive number this year.

The same can be said of the Hasenpusch Family Stick Insect, Parapodacanthus hasenpuschorum Brock. Each year we see one or two of these beautiful insects at the lights but this year many have been appearing  over a period of several months. Reasons? Who knows? They are said to feed on Rutaeceae-the orange family, with Acronychia acidula and A. acronycoides two known host plants along with Melicope elleryana.

P. hasenpuschorum is a beautiful insect with the spines of the thorax glistening and contrasting to the rest of the body. The hind wing is rosy pink. When hand held, the sticks emit a faint but pleasant-smelling odour that probably is meant to discourage predators.

Visitors to a rainforest near Innisfail thought they were seeing "fairies in the forest" when is actual fact they were seeing this stick insect flying high in the canopy.
 The spines in the thorax readily identify this species.
A male at rest on a palm frond at night.

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