I came across a walking stick insect while pruning my fruitless cherry tree. I live in Maryland and was wandering what is the specific epithet and if there are any hazards with handling them ?
Below is a photo.
We just recieved a letter from a reader in Florida who was sprayed by a Two-lined Walkingstick, Anisomorpha buprestoides. It seems this particular species has a defense mechanism that doesn’t do any permanent damage, but causes temporary vision problems and discomfort. A northern species, Diapheromera femorata, is fond of cherry as well as some other tree. Unlike some of the tropical species, it is wingless. To our knowledge, they are harmless, though they feed on the leaves of trees. Rarely are they numerous enough to cause any damage to the tree. They are slow moving herbivorous insects that are usually found on trees or shrubs. Many species are able to emit a foul smelling substance from the glands in the thorax. Unlike most insects, Walking Sticks are able to regenerate lost legs. The eggs are laid by simply scattering them to the ground, and when the egg laying females are plentiful, their group egg laying can sound like falling rain. The females are generally larger than the males.