Currently viewing the category: "Walkingsticks"
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What’s this bug?
I have never seen anything like this bug. It literally looks like a piece of wood. Being that I’m in Florida, I don’t know if it flew away, hopped away or got eaten by something even bigger. By the way, does it bite? Does it eat wood? Yes, I still have a door! Or, is it just hanging around waiting for it’s next meal?

Your “It” is acutally “Them”. You have a pair of Two-lined Walkingsticks, Anisomorpha buprestoides, also known as Musk-Mares or Devil Riders because of their habit of remaining in coitus for extremely long periods of time, as witnessed in your photograph. Beware!! They do not bite but they can spray a noxious substance from their necks that is painful if it gets in your eye. We are toying with the idea of adding a “Sex” or “Love among the Bugs” page to our site and we will definitely use your image when that day arrives.

So my “it” was a “them” doing “it!” Too funny! Not only was your website helpful; but, very educational as well. Thank you so much for your help.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

found a bug in my garage
I found this bug in my garage that caught me by surprise. When I moved it with my broom, it started to attack the broom with it’s stinger. Creeped me out!!

Hi Tony,
We wrote to Eric Eaton to see if he could give us a species name for your Walkingstick. He wrote: “This is indeed a walkingstick, specifically Anisomorpha buprestoides, and a female. The species goes by regional names like "devil-rider" and "musk-mare," in reference to the fact that mating pairs can remain coupled for days at a time; also, they can squirt a potent, foul, milky substance from glands in their neck. If they hit you in the eye it is truly painful, aparently not damaging otherwise.” The Walkingstick doesn’t have a stinger, but you want to steer clear of that noxious secretion.

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stick bugs
We have some stick bugs as pets. we started out with four and had them a good long time. one by one they died, and we put their cage away. some time later we went to use the cage for a toad the kids found and to our surprise there were baby stick bugs in it. well we ended up with four nice size stick bugs again. we love them , they make great little pets. our question is , how will we know if they laid eggs? and what do the eggs look like? I hope when we lose the ones we have it will not be the end of our bugs.
thank you for any help you can give me.
Mary in Montana

Hi Mary,
Walkingsticks, Family Phasmidae, are much more common in the South than the North, which is probably why you have the Northern Walkingstick, Diapheromera femorata. The males grow to 3 inches and females to 3 3/4 inches in length. They range north to Alberta Canada. They will eat the leaves of many deciduous trees but especially like oak and hazelnut. The female drops her eggs singly and they overwinter among ground litter, hatching in the spring. I guess someone never cleaned the cage before putting it away which is why you wound up with nymphs for a second generation of pets. I have heard that when there is a large population of Walkingsticks laying eggs in the forest, the eggs dropping sound like falling rain.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Bug questions
Could you please tell me what this bug is. I think it may be called a stick bug, but I’m not sure. This one was about seven inches long and hanging out on my
sliding glass door. Very creepy. Do they bite or sting?
Thanks much.

Beautiful Walking Stick photo Dianne,
They do not bite, but some Florida species are known to spray a noxious fluid when disturbed. Your specimen is benign.

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Attached is also a picture of one of many walkingsticks roaming around.
Thank you for your help,
Darin, Melissa and Spencer

We just got this photo in.

(11/15/2003) Kind of like a Walkingstick

I would like to see if you can identify an insect for us. Sorry I have no picture, so I will try to describe it. As near as I can describe, it is like a fat walking stick. Usually about 2 inches long, 1/4 to 3/8" wide in the middle, brownish in color, and with a smaller version (1 inch long and skinny) riding piggy back. They were sighted climbing pine trees in central Arkansas.
thanks for your help,

Dear Jon,
Close relatives of the Walkingsticks are a group of insects known as Timemas, Family Timemidae. They differ from Walkingsticks in being smaller and more robust in form. There is a great deal of guessing and speculation concernin the habits of this insect and many have reported it as feeding on coniferous trees. All forms are arboreal, and while they may be found on all kinds of trees during the mating season in May and June, they apparently feed largely in not entirely on deciduous trees. Our California species are a bright leaf green with occasional decidedly pink specimens. It has been reported that other species are brownish in color. Here is an image I downloaded of specimens in a collection.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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.
Steve Hawk

Hi steve,
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.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination