Walkingstick – the Insect

This unusual insect was captured by our Area 1 photographer during last week’s warmer weather.

Resembling a twig or stick, as they are 2 – 3+ inches long, they easily blend into the landscape – but are easily spotted on the house window.

The field guide tells us that all walkingsticks, including our Northern Diapheromera femorata, live in the deciduous woods and forests feeding on the foliage of trees and shrubs especially oaks and hazelnuts. Interesting is their “amazing ability to regenerate lost legs.” “Females drop eggs singly. Eggs overwinter among ground litter and hatch in spring, when nymphs push open domelike ends of the eggs. Nymphs crawl up woody vegetation at night to reach edible foliage.” Further it notes that their stick-like appearance camouflages them from birds seeking food during the day. And “when many femails are dropping eggs, the sound is like the pitter-patter of light rain.”