The Complete Field Guide to Stick and Leaf Insects of Australia

Paperback - January 2009 - AU $49.95

eBook - January 2009 - eRetailers Google Books Kobo

Covers all known stick and leaf insects and includes photographs of all species, notes on their ecology and biology as well as identification keys.

Australia has a rich diversity of phasmids – otherwise known as stick and leaf insects. Most of them are endemic, few have been studied and new species continue to be found. Stick insects are, by far, Australia’s longest insects – some of them reach up to 300 mm in body length, or more than half a metre if you include their outstretched legs. Many stick insects are very colourful, and some have quite elaborate, defensive behaviour. Increasingly they are being kept as pets. + Full description

This is the first book on Australian phasmids for nearly 200 years and covers all known stick and leaf insects. It includes photographs of all species, notes on their ecology and biology as well as identification keys suitable for novices or professionals.

- Short description


"This is an excellent guide, and hopefully will encourage a greater interest in the conservation of phasmids."
Maria Matthes, Australian Plant Conservation, Vol 19, No 2, September-November 2010

"…will be an invaluable addition to professionals and amateurs alike. As a textbook, the sections on classification, keys to genera, index to common and scientific names, check-list of species, glossary and extensive references to scientific papers are priceless! This book will not only interest those who love insects but also anyone interested in the biodiversity of the Australian fauna."
Stephen Fellenberg, General & Applied Entomology, 2010

" an ideal introduction to the Australian phasmids for the non-specialist, while still being an essential work for the specialist."
Ed Baker, The Newsletter of The Phasmid Study Group, December 2009

"This excellent book serves an unusually wide audience: it manages to be accessible to beginners, whilst informing professional entomologists. The book is a ‘must have’ for any stick insect enthusiast, whether amateur or professional. It is also suitable for a worldwide audience, given that several Australian species are kept as pets overseas…"
Melanie Archer, Victorian Naturalist, December 2010

"…I think the best thing about this book for me is that it exists at all! This easily portable and accessible guide has to be an excellent way to encourage rapid advances in our knowledge, and there is no better way to reward the authors for their work than to demand a second edition in a few years time to present all the new knowledge that will be generated by this one."
Helen Smith, Linnean Society of New South Wales Newsletter, No 132, October 2009

"This nicely designed book represents a superb, complete, concise treatment of all 101 stick insects, and the three leaf insects, currently known from Australia. This book is written in a lively and very engaging style. There are excellent sections on collecting, preserving, photographing and rearing phasmids. The book could serve as a model for entomological field guides…"
Anthony Harris, The Weta, Vol. 37, 2009

"Beautifully illustrated with colour photographs, this work is an extremely informative field guide to the Australian species of Phasmida. Highly recommended."
R.C. Graves, Choice, Vol 47 No 02, October 2009

"This is a useful guide for finding these cryptic animals in the bush, or for those readers who are interested in expanding their pet collection to include a foot-long, low maintenance stick insect."
Deborah Metters, Land for Wildlife South East Queensland, October 2009

"An entertaining addition to CSIRO’s authoritative field guides, the book is sure to be a fascinating browse for lovers of Australian fauna."
Scan (NSW Department of Education and Training), Vol. 28, No. 4, November 2009

"This Field Guide not only has excellent photos of each species in its habitat, but also photos of museum specimens to show more detail. And with the distribution maps and descriptions as well, you should be able to identify that strange beastie clinging to the rose bush or gum tree."
Karen Alexander, Park Watch, September 2009

"Understanding this group just got a whole lot easier with the publication of this fine field guide, the first new compendium of Australian phasmids for almost two centuries. I recomment this book to anyone interested in these unusual beasts or as a useful library addition for anyone nosey about hidden things in the natural world."
Martyn Robinson, Australian Museum Magazine, June, 2009

"The book is excellent as a quick species guide for novices or as a taxonomic key for professionals. It is equally useful to gardeners, amateur naturalists and students of entomology, and is a triumph for the authors after years of study."
Denis Crawford, Gardening Australia, July 2009

"…the depth of information presented on all facets of stick insect ecology and conservation provide a benchmark for future monographs dealing with specific groups of fauna."
Scott Burnett, Wildlife Australia Magazine, Winter 2009

"At last, a field guide to the stick and leaf insects of Australia, in full colour, and in a handy A5 format."
Eric McCrum, The Naturalist News, July 2009

"In short, many of these fascinating insects are very poorly known. Yet, the authors of this book suggest they may really not be rare…Phasmatid well-being is presumed because 'major parts of the country are well preserved.' The challenge remains to examine this presumption and, with the publication of this excellent guide, naturalists are now in a position to do so and to incorporate Phasmatodea firmly into conservation agendas in Australia."
T R New, Journal of Insect Conservation, Volume 13, 2009

"I found the entire book to be very interesting and helpful throughout...There are practical, well illustrated sections for even the most experienced phasmid hunter on anatomy, classification, collecting, photographing, rearing and studying these insects, as well as concise illustrated notes on each species. The authors' style of writing in this book is very engaging, encouraging, easily understood, humorous at times and very informative. Aimed at a wide audience, the scientific is balanced by the inclusion of the practical and helpful. Congratulations on an excellent publication - a worthy addition to any nature lover's library at a price that won't break the bank."
Lois Hughes, Butterfly and Other Invertebrates Club Magazine, June, 2009


Paperback | January 2009 | $ 49.95
ISBN: 9780643094185 | 216 pages | 215 x 148 mm
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Colour photographs

ePDF | January 2009
ISBN: 9780643097087
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Available from eRetailers


  • Covers all stick and leaf insects found in Australia
  • Clear photos and line drawings
  • Easy-to-use identification keys
  • Notes on collecting and studying phasmids


Paul D Brock is a world authority on stick and leaf insects, and is a Scientific Associate of the Natural History Museum in London. He is the author of several major reference books covering classification and breeding of these insects.

Jack Hasenpusch, an experienced entomologist, is Director of the Australian Insect Farm, which was set up to assist educational institutions, scientists and researchers. He has spent 25 years studying Australia’s insect fauna and has several species named after him.