Found this pair of Timema sp. in SoCal. Any phasmid experts that can narrow down to species?


Old Timer
Jun 27, 2010
I found this pair of Timema sp. walking sticks in the dirt on a hiking trail in Southern California (near Yucaipa) late last night. I would like to keep them, but need to narrow them down to species in order to get the appropriate food plants. The species that seem most likely, based on location and plants growing in that area, are T. morongensis (buckwheat), T. podura (chamise, ceanothus, and oak), T. boharti (manzanita, chamise, ceanothus, and oak), or T. chumash (ceanothus and oak).

So far, my plan is just to go back to the general area where I found them and grab a little of everything to offer them, then see what they munch on, but I'd love any help with a more specific ID!

Pictures 1 and 2 show the pair. (In picture 1 the male is on top of the female in "guarding" position. Although he did fall off a few times, between being caught, photographed, and rehoused, he keeps hopping right back on again.) Pictures 3 and 4 show the male. Pictures 5 and 6 show the female - with a bonus ventral shot of the male through the cup in picture 5.

Timema pair 1.jpg Timema pair 2.jpg Timema male 1 - reduced.jpg Timema male 2 - reduced.jpg Timema female 1 - reduced.jpg Timema female 2 - reduced.jpg


Oct 7, 2015
Basically if you offer buckwheat and oak you've got every species you believe is possible covered.