Northern Walkingstick
Diapheromera femorata

 


Female Walkingstick plump with eggs

The Walkingstick averages about 3-5 inches as an adult. It inhabits woodlands throughout our area. Walkingsticks cling among leafless twigs and remain motionless as though they were another twig. They swing with a breeze along with other twigs. During daylight hours camouflage protects them from predators rather than serving as a mechanism for ambushing other insects. When darkness arrives, they begin to feed on foliage. It is known that walking sticks have an amazing ability to regenerate lost legs. Walkingsticks are so difficult to observe that insect collectors see very few of them on daytime hikes. This specimen was captured after having lit in a collector's hair under a moth collecting light.

The Walkingstick is slow-moving, resembling a twig or leaf; body and legs are very long and slim; no wings; long antennae. Its preferred habitat is woods, on trees and shrubs.

 

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