What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Walking branch ha!
Location: San Antonio, Texas
July 30, 2013 12:36 am
I found this big,scary, strong I think female walking stick. From what I can tell I think its female. What I want to know is what species is it exactly and what is its diet? I think it might be the mighty giant walking stick. The one they call the largest insect in the U.S.. Please help me figure this out experts.
Signature: RomeDogg

Giant Walkingstick

Giant Walkingstick

Dear RomeDogg,
You are absolutely correct that this is a female Giant Walkingstick,
Megaphasma dentricrus.  According to the Animal Diversity Web Information Sheet:  “In this species, males are extremely rare, sometimes with as few as one male per 1,000 females.”  The eating habits are described as:  “This species tends to feed on foliage of grasses and woody plants, especially on grapevines and oaks. It will also feed on leaves of trees and can occasionally cause deforestation. After hatching from their eggs in the springtime, young nymphs feed mainly on understory shrubs. Among the adults, several host plants are primarily fed upon such as the basswood, the birch, dogwood, hackberry, hickory, oak, pecan, and wild cherry. (Drees and Jackman, 1998)”

Giant Walkingstick

Giant Walkingstick

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: San Antonio, Texas

One Response to Giant Walkingstick

  1. BKlein says:

    The observation about the rarity of males is surprising based on my limited experience with this species in TX. I did not carefully note the proportion of males to females, but locally, neither were rare, both present and conspicuous. Although sexually dimorphic there doesn’t seem to be anything ‘extreme’ about the males that would lead to a disproportion of 1:1000 as described here!

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