Northern Walkingstick (Diapheromera femorata)

While opening the porch door this morning to get some fresh air, I noticed an insect on the screen door (aside from the usual jumping spiders).  It was some kind of a stick insect, so the first thing I did after getting out of bed was grabbing my camera and snapping some photos!  Stick insects are one of those groups of animals that most people (i.e., me) rarely seen because they are so well-camouflaged.  According to my blog tags, I only saw stick insects (in the wild) four times since I started this blog.  So today is lucky number 5!

After taking the photos and a quick Google search, I believe this is a Northern Walkingstick (Diapheromera femorata), the most common walkingsticks (Order Phasmida) in North America.  This species feeds on oaks, cherries, and black locust trees, which can be found in the little woodland behind my house.  Ms. Leckie posted about these insects before too (in greater detail).

This individual is 63 mm long (I just measured it because it is currently in my room) and missing one leg.


Interesting pattern on its head.

Northern Walkingstick (Diapheromera femorata)
Close-up on the head.

These claspers at the tip of abdomen confirm that this is a male.

Northern Walkingstick (Diapheromera femorata)
It is so long that it is difficult to photograph the entire body length (while maintaining good focus).

The reason why it is currently in my room is because it was still on the screen door tonight when the rain started to fall.  So I will keep it in my room overnight, and put it back outside tomorrow morning.  And while it is in my room, I snapped a few more close-up photos of it.

Northern Walkingstick (Diapheromera femorata)
What an interesting looking mouthpart.

Northern Walkingstick (Diapheromera femorata)

Northern Walkingstick (Diapheromera femorata)
Such a cool-looking insect.

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