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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 2:54 pm 
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Okay, first off, I realize this is probably a massive question in just a few words and will probably varies from genus to genus, but I would like to hear how you all ID phasmids.

I have a background in keeping reptiles so IDing reptiles for me is a cinch. One starts by counting scales, looking at distribution etc, but after a while it becomes so "built-in" that one simply IDs by a quick glance and gut feel. Even if I cant ID the species, at least I know which family/genus to start searching in.

So what morphological characteristics does one focus on when IDing phasmids (even if these are characteristics of the ova)? I would assume it differs from genus to genus so I realize this is a very tricky question to answer. Actually, even narrowing it down to family level would already be helpful

Please supply pictures of identifying characteristic of certain genera is possible. Thanx for reading and I would appreciate any input.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2014 11:15 pm 
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Pharnacia are a very distinctive species, so are Phobaeticus. Megacrania and the fern-eating sp. are easy to tell as well. Ramulus sp., Haaniella sp., Phasma sp., etc, it's all just to do with coming across them on the web frequently that just 'imprints' what the genus looks like in your mind.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:21 am 
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Thanx for the reply Darkrai.

So I gather it's just a matter of seeing enough of them until one learn to ID them without any definitive diagnostic features?

Of course all the "fancy" species are easy enough to ID, but it becomes a bit tricky when you have a dull coloured species with minimal spines and a typical shape.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:44 am 
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Or you could get hold of scientific papers and taxonomiic books to use as keys :).

It all comes down to experience and having the "right" paperwork really - I can identify most specimens to genus level at least, and quite a few of these down to species (subspecies can be tricky without the relevant documents to help aid the process). To try and post all about the diagnostic features of Phasmida here, in one post (let alone a thread!) would take forever!

However if you're keen then you should definitely research into it, but it is a lot of hard work.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 8:11 am 
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I am definitely interested in being able to ID most commonly kept phasmids down to genus level, but to be honest, I am not even sure where to begin looking at for the documents. I know often the publications are available on the web but most of them require payment (which is not uncalled for of course).

But I will scratch around and start saving as many PDFs as I can find.

Thanx for the help.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2014 8:54 am 
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No problem - most of them you can find via Google scholar. Also, the Phasmida Species File is pretty useful if you know what you want to look for and also sometimes has links to the relevant papers. If you're after a specific paper then drop me a line - I might be able to help out :).

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