Inadvertent Carnage
February 22, 2010
Hi, WTB,
I’ve been enjoying getting acquainted with your site over the past few days.  Thanks to “kkroeker” and to Eric Eaton for the ID of the Humphrey’s Grasshoppers.
Here’s a sad photo of totally innocent, inadvertent carnage.  I had spent a little bit of time one morning in a small meadow where I usually find something to shoot, and where I am always looking for walking sticks because of past success in finding them there (Southern Arizona, foothills of the Santa Rita Mountains, about 4,400 ft, mid-September).
After returning home and a quick change of clothes, I was getting back into my car when I was shocked and saddened to see this poor specimen on my car seat.  Apparently, he had hitched a ride on the back of my pants and suffered the 30 minute ride home under a couple hundred pounds of oblivion.
The poor thing was not quite finished, but all the kings horses and all the kings men …
I had pretty much forgotten about the incident until a few days later when I was washing the white canvas pants that I had been wearing that morning and found a fairly detailed, shroud-of-Turin-like stain below the left rear pocket.
This was an arthropod whose life ended prematurely.
Denny Schreffler

Walkingstick crushed during a car ride

Hi again Denny,
Thanks so much for sharing this poignant tragedy.  It reminds us of a letter we received several years ago from a person who inadvertently stepped on a pair of mating Oil Beetles.  We believe this might be Diapheromera covilleae, the Creosote Bush Walkingstick or Greasewood Walkingstick based on images posted to BugGuide.

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