Northern Walking Stick

Northern Walking Stick (Allan Park, November 2014)

Northern Walking Stick (Allan Park, November 2014)

While sitting and eating lunch on a sandy hill-side, Malgosia noticed this lovely creature walking on her.  I scooped him up and played with him for the duration of our lunch break – content to admire his amazing camouflage.

Here is what I have learned about the Northern Stick Insect*:

– They are the only stick insect to occur in Canada

– They are most often found near deciduous forests where they can find their preferred foods (oak, hazelnut and black cherry).

– They are leaf skeletonizers (they consume the soft parts of a leaf and leave the veins intact).

– Males have brown heads whereas females have a hint of green to their brown head.

– The femurs of males tend to be banded.

– Mating occurs between late August and late October

– Walking Sticks lay eggs in the fall which overwinter in the leaf litter and then hatch in spring (June).

– Eggs are usually dropped from trees (and can sound like rain drops).

– Crows, robins and other insect-eating birds are predators.

– Walking Sticks have the ability to regenerate legs that are lost to predators.

*Common American Walking Stick, n.d., viewed November 5, 2014, http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/accounts/Diapheromera_femorata/

 

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