Evolution

Recent molecular and detailed morphological work suggests Dryococelus australis is not part of the Eurycanthinae, but more closely related to other tree-living Australian species.

Its close resemblance to the Eurycanthinae may instead be due to convergent evolution. This means Dryococelus and some members of the Eurycanthinae look very similar because they have independently evolved to adapt to similar conditions.

 The Lord Howe Island stick insect and the superficially similar species of Eurycanthinae are both adapted to living on the ground, while the majority of stick insects live on shrubs or in the canopy.

Further work, both molecular and morphological, will help us understand, more clearly, the evolutionary history of the stick insects.