Recording wild stick insect populations in the south and south west of the UK

Right I have been back out at last after 3 years absence doing what I love doing at this time of year which is recording wild stick insect populations in the UK. Thought you might be interested in this population of now established Bacillus rossius that occurs in Hampshire. The only other populations I have seen for this species was two sites I discovered new for the Isles of Scilly on Tresco back in 2002 which Paul brock told me he found them at again those locations last year. At the Hampshire location I thought how many mins would it take me to find the first one? How about 2 seconds!! In all I found 15 individuals of which were mainly adults of both brown and green forms. Also they were all females. They were only on small pieces of low growing brambles as well. However some individuals were resting on nearby vegetation such as evening primrose or even nearby buildings. With all the stick insect recording I have done over the years in the south west of the UK it is only females that were present. Of course if any of you do come across a stick insect in the UK in the wild or a garden please send the records into the national recorder Malcolm Lee even if it is from the well known locations already. He is always updating his records. Pic 1 shows two adult green Bacillus rossius resting at base of building. Pic 2 shows adult green Bacillus rossius with the pale strip all down the body. I often see this in adult green forms of Bacillus rossius and also the New Zealand Acanthoxyla inermis. Pic 3 Adult brown form of Bacillus rossius. Pic 4 Tail appendage showing the "cerci" which is a way to tell the established UK stick insect species apart. However it is best to get a side view  of the cerci to help with ID.


Brian Laney  


Bacillus rossius at Hayling Island

Popped down to the Hayling Island site and matched your photo of the sheds to the view in front of me. Eventually found the right spot and took all of maybe 30seconds to find one sitting out on the lower planks of a hut. Brilliant, finally seen a stick insect that isn't a Prickly on Scilly!

This was on 13th November this year, I only saw the one individual (it was pretty darn chilly), maybe they've mostly died off this late into the season? Anyway, here's a pic. I included my notebook for scale.

Many thanks for the heads-up, I had absolutely no idea these were in Hampshire!

All the best, Seth.