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/