Like many of their relatives, Phasmatidae are capable of regenerating limbs and commonly reproduce by parthenogenesis. Despite their bizarre, even threatening appearance, they are harmless to humans.
The Phasmatidae contain some of the biggest insects currently in existence. The recently-discovered Chan's Megastick (Phobaeticus chani) of the Clitumninae (sometimes placed in Phasmatinae) can grow to a total length of over half a meter (20 in); it is the longest living insect known at present.
The Lonchodinae were historically often placed in the Diapheromeridae, the other family of the Anareolatae. The Phasmatinae are often expanded to include the two tribes here separated as Clitumninae, while the Extatosomatinae are similarly included in the Tropidoderinae as a tribe.
The subfamilies are:
- Clitumninae (sometimes in Phasmatinae)
- Extatosomatinae (sometimes in Tropidoderinae)
- Lonchodinae (sometimes in Diapheromeridae)
- Phasmatinae (sometimes includes Clitumninae)
- Tropidoderinae (sometimes includes Extatosomatinae)
- Tribe Achriopterini (sometimes in Phasmatinae)
- Tribe Stephanacridini (sometimes in Phasmatinae)
- Genus Monoiognosis
- Genus Spathomorpha