Domain: Eukarya
All Eukaryotes have a nucleus and membrane-bound organelles. They are generally much bigger than Bacteria and Archaea and more complex.  

Major Clade: Opisthokonta
This clade has a posterior-facing flagellum at some point in their life cycle.  

Kingdom: Animalia
Members of the Animalia kingdom are multicellular, motile at some stage, heterotrophic, and have no cell walls.  They are very diverse and vary greatly in their complexity.  

                                      Phylogenetic tree of the major clade Opisthokonta, focusing on the kingdom Animalia. Original photo.

Phylum: Arthropoda
Arthropods have an exoskeleton of chitin and jointed segmented limbs.  This is one of the most diverse phylogenetic groups across all organisms.  

Class: Insecta
Insects are typically segmented into three body sections: the head, thorax, and abdomen.  They usually have three pairs of legs, compound eyes, and a pair of antennae.

                                   Phylogenetic tree of the class Insecta. Original photo.

Order: Phasmatodea
The Phasmids are also known as the stick insects.  These insects generally resemble fauna with long, thin bodies and legs and are often well camouflaged.  The name “Phasmatodea” comes from the Greek word “Phasma,” which means “apparition” or “phantom” (Sharp 2014).  

Family: Pseudophasmatidae
These are the striped walking sticks, distinguished by their distinct colorations.  They also have a mesothorax, which is typically around three times the length of the prothorax (Encylopedia of Life).  

 A male two-striped walking stick riding his female mate. Photo used courtesy of Christopher Tozier.
Genus: Anisomoprha

When Gray gave this genus the name “Anisomorpha,” he added the prefix “A-,“ which means “without” or “none,” to Greek words “isos,” which means “equal,” and “morphe,” which means “form.”  Together, the genus can be viewed as “nonisomorphic” or “of unequal form”(Conle et al. 2009).  All members of this genus exhibit sexual dimorphism in which the female is much larger than the male, and can also secrete a potent chemical defensive spray from the thorax.

Species: Anisomorpha buprestoides
This particular species was first discovered in 1813 by Caspar Stoll (Conle et al. 2009).  It has a unique chemical secretion that it sprays from its prothoracic glands and is almost always found in pairs with the male attached dorsally to the female.


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