Subject: Seeing these a lot!
Location: Davenport , FL
September 8, 2013 7:47 am
Ive been seeing this bug a lot this year. I saw a few that had already died and they were a red color but most of them are brown with a white line on them. This particular one had a baby on its back. I got a picture with the baby on and off its back. While I was trying to take its picture, i must have scared it because it sprayed me with something. I have to admit they kind if scare me. I haven’t seen them all year and they just started popping up during this summer. Thanks!!
After sending you a quick response, we decided to elaborate, create a posting and write back to you. These are Two Striped Walkingsticks, Anisomorpha buprestoides, and your guess that the smaller individual is a baby is wrong. The smaller individual is a male who is attempting to mate with the larger female. Because the Two Striped Walkingsticks are often found in tandem, they also have an interesting common name, Muskmare. The Muskmares are able to defend themselves from predators by spraying a caustic chemical with amazing accuracy, often aiming for the predators eye. You were lucky they missed. According to BugGuide: “Members of this genus can deliver a chemical spray to the eyes that can cause corneal damage.”