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Northern Walkingstick

Diapheromera femorata

Description:

Camouflage: Reached down to brush a twig off the car and it moved. Northern Walkingsticks, aka "Devil's darning needle," are generally 3.5 to 4 inches long. I relocated this one to tall grass, where it blended with its surroundings perfectly and disappeared from sight immediately.

Habitat:

Found in trees and forests throughout North America. Eats all kinds of leaves but has a taste for oak and hazelnut. Prefers to stay up in the canopy and is usually active between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. Elongated, almost cylindrical bodies. Small heads with antennae about two-thirds the length of the body. Abdomen tipped with a pair of cerci (claspers) that are sensory.

Northern Walkingsticks reproduce in late summer or early fall, dropping eggs from the treetops to overwinter in leaf clutter on the forest floor. Eggs are a favorite with ants, who carry them down into their nests and eat part of the exterior. The interior of the egg is not damaged, however, and tiny walkingstick hatchlings are allowed to exit the ant hill.

While there are about 3,000 walkingstick species worldwide, Diapheromera femorata is the only one in North America.

Notes:

See also Bug Guide:
https://bugguide.net/node/view/34736

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Mississippi, USA

Lat: 31.71, Long: -89.37

Spotted on Nov 12, 2017
Submitted on Nov 14, 2017

Related spottings

Walkingstick Common Walkingstick Walking Stick (Nymph) Common Walkingstick or Northern Walkingstick (Diapheromera femorata)

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