Building community around and gathering knowledge about the world’s stick and leaf insects


The Phasmida Species File file offers a community-curated collection of richly-cited and annotated information on the taxonomy of Earth’s stick and leaf insects. Data found here come from a collaboratively compiled database originating in an instance of TaxonWorks managed by the Species File Group. See Contribute for how you can participate. This site is built using TaxonPages, learn more and get help. For more on how this site is built please see the Software section.

Gaps as opportunity

The Earth’s biodiversity is vast, the data captured to describe it are minimal in comparison, but still immense. All projects of this nature contain gaps, i.e. opportunities for collaboration on future work, grants, and research. Known gaps in this project include photographs of certain type material, particularly required for the Chinese fauna and more. Contact us if you would like to help us address these, in particular we’d like to prioritize high quality photographs of type material not on Phasmida Species File.


Our old website is now a read-only resource available at http://Phasmida.archive.speciesfile.org.

The original Phasmida species file data was transferred from a PDF catalog in 2005, and was the second taxonomic group after Orthoptera. The database was built to be a growing and evolving thing that continues past the careers of those who have responsibility for it from time to time. This database was inputted by David Eades and his team, from Daniel Otte and Paul Brock’s 2003 CD entitled Phasmida Species File: A Catalog of the Stick and Leaf Insects of the World and by reference to changes made in the 2005 book of the same title by Otte & Brock. It has been subsequently updated by Paul, who will continue to maintain it. Someday Paul Brock will relinquish the responsibility, and it will be up to a committee of the Orthopterists’ Society to select a successor/s. In addition to the matter of continuity, it seems clear that the migration of the taxonomic data management to TaxonWorks will provide the opportunity for an eventual handoff.

Members of the Orthopterists’ Society are invited to participate in making this website and database better. Participation can be at various levels:

As of August 2023 all data in the former Species File Websites were frozen and shortly thereafter migrated to TaxonWorks. As with all migrations of this nature the process is both lossy (e.g. some data could not be mapped with certainty) and improved (e.g. semantics of the new models have more precision and clarity). The old website remains an excellent resource for fact-checking this migration. If you spot something that needs attention, please see Contribute or get help.

Support and funding

This Species File functionality and content is serviced in part by the Species File Group.
Through the generous support of various phasmid specialists, we add images and improve data.


Paul D. BrockAuthor and EditorThe Natural History Museum, London
Thies H. BüscherAssistant EditorChristian-Albrechts-Universität, Kiel, Germany
Ed BakerAssistant EditorThe Natural History Museum, London, University of York
David C. Eades*Founder of Species File GroupIllinois Natural History Survey
Daniel Otte*Major contributorAcademy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia

Expertise by Geographic Region

AfricaComores, Madagascar, Mauritius, Réunion, RodriguesNicolas Cliquennois email
AfricaSouthernPaul D. Brock email
AmericanorthernFrank Hennemann email & Oskar Conle email
AmericasouthernFrank Hennemann email & Oskar Conle email
Asia, temperatetemperateTBA
ChinaHo Wai Chun email
Hong KongHo Wai Chun email
TaiwanYamai Shi-Fu Huang email
Asia, tropical
Borneo & SumatraFrancis Seow-Choen email
IndiaTushar Mukherjee email
Indochinese region (Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos)Joachim Bresseel
Peninsular Malaysia & SingaporePaul D. Brock email
PhilippinesOrlando Eusebio email
Sri LankaFrank Hennemann email
SulawesiFrank Hennemann email
Thailand & MyanmarThies Büscher email
AustralasiaPaul D. Brock email
EuropePaul D. Brock email
World PhylliidaeRoyce Cumming email

A * denotes a past contributor, now inactive.

Contribute or get help

Projects of this nature require expertise in many different areas, not only on the taxa being treated. If you can imagine a way to contribute we’d love to hear about it.

  • Enquire about joining the researchers building this Species File: email
  • Report a problem or offer data (bugs or data issues) on our issue tracker.
  • TaxonWorks and TaxonPages are open-source efforts that offer opportunities for you and others to join to request new features, report bugs, or discuss use among other things.
  • Cite this website via the citation at the bottom of the page. See also Terms of use.

Extended data access

A goal of these pages is to ensure that the underlying data behind them are accessible in their digital format. By diversifying the ways the data are accessible (e.g. on the web page, in JSON, in Darwin Core standard), we increase the opportunities to both spot errors and provide new services and portals.

  • Researchers working on this project use their rich, multi-faceted access to the data via TaxonWorks’ interfaces (e.g. filters, reporting, downloads). Access requires a project account, see Contribute or get help.
  • Data behind individual panels per page can be seen via the Sitemap functionality.
  • Each page offers an option to download a DarwinCore formatted table containing all data for this taxon and its children.
  • Panel data (each section on a page) and other information not available on these pages are accessible via a TaxonWorks API at https://sfg.taxonworks.org/api/v1.
  • Core taxonomic data are exported to and available at the Catalogue of Life and its associated API.


These pages are built with completely open-source software. Read more about what drives them, how they supported by the Species File Group and their many collaborators, or join weekly support meetings and see how it all fits together, includes links to issue trackers.


About our group structure, how the rules behind joining and participating are set.




copyrightUnless otherwise noted (e.g. image licenses may vary) all content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. (CC-BY)