Walking Stick Bugs: Nature’s Camouflaged Marvels Revealed

The walking stick bug is a fascinating insect that mimics its natural background to blend in seamlessly with its surroundings. These slender creatures, also known as walking sticks or stick insects, boast six spindly legs and two long, thin antennae, making them easily recognizable even though they’re masters of camouflage.

You may not come across walking stick bugs often due to their effective disguises, but they are a diverse group of insects. The most common species in North America includes the northern walkingstick, which reaches lengths of up to 4 inches. In contrast, the giant walking stick is the largest insect in North America with females growing as long as 7 inches.

These intriguing insects not only vary in size but also in color – from brown, tan, or gray, to green, their twig-like appearance is an excellent adaptation to stay hidden from predators. With every careful step they take, walking stick bugs never fail to pique our curiosity and admiration for their incredible natural camouflage.

General Description

In this section, we’ll provide a brief overview of the walking stick bug’s main features.

Color and Size

Walking stick bugs exhibit a range of colors, including shades of green and brown. These colors serve as natural camouflage, helping them blend in with their surroundings. Their sizes can vary greatly, ranging from 0.46 to 12.9 inches in length, making them among the longest insects in the world.

Legs and Antennae

These remarkable creatures have elongated, slender legs and antennae that resemble the twigs and branches they inhabit. All six legs are roughly the same length, adding to their stick-like appearance.

Examples of walking stick species include:

  • Northern walkingstick (Diapheromera femorata), very slender and common in Missouri 1
  • Twostriped walkingstick (Anisomorpha buprestoides), a large, stout phasmid with three conspicuous longitudinal black stripes 2

Wings and Spines

Many walking stick species are wingless or have small, vestigial wings. However, some tropical species do have functional wings that allow them to glide or fly short distances. Walking sticks don’t typically have spines, opting instead for their unique camouflage methods to keep them hidden from predators.

In summary, walking stick bugs are fascinating insects known for their incredible camouflage and twig-like appearance. Their unique features – ranging from their different colors and sizes to their elongated legs and antennae – make them truly remarkable creatures.

Species

There are several species of walking stick bugs, which belong to the order Phasmatodea, also known as Phasmida. These insects are known for their remarkable camouflage resembling twigs or branches.

One common species found in North America is the Northern Walkingstick (Diapheromera femorata). It’s a slender insect, measuring about 3.5 to 4 inches in length. This species is entirely wingless, making them easy to spot on the ground.

Another notable species is the Phobaeticus kirbyi, which is among the longest insects in the world. Found in the Oriental region, some of these giants can reach up to 12 inches in length. Unlike the Northern Walkingstick, many tropical species have wings as adults.

Here are some key features of walking stick bugs:

  • Long, slender bodies and legs, resembling twigs or branches
  • Perfectly camouflaged in brown, tan, gray, or green colors
  • Winglessness in some species, while others may have wings
  • Can be found in diverse habitats, ranging from North America to Southeast Asia

When comparing these two species, the Northern Walkingstick and the Phobaeticus kirbyi, you’ll notice a few differences:

Feature Northern Walkingstick Phobaeticus kirbyi
Size 3.5 – 4 inches Up to 12 inches
Wings Wingless Wings in some
Habitat North America Oriental region

In conclusion, walking stick bugs are fascinating insects that showcase a wide range of sizes and characteristics depending on their species. While some, like the Northern Walkingstick, are smaller and wingless, others like the Phobaeticus kirbyi can grow quite large and possess wings.

Habitat and Range

North American Habitats

In North America, walking stick bugs typically inhabit forests, especially those with an abundance of oak trees. They are well-camouflaged and can easily blend in with the surrounding vegetation, making them difficult to spot. These insects thrive in areas like the Midwest, where you can find species such as the northern walkingstick, as well as the Southeast, where the twostriped walkingstick is more common.

To give you an idea of their preferred habitat:

  • Dense foliage
  • Presence of oak trees
  • Temperate and tropical regions

Borneo and the Tropics

As we move to the tropics, the number of walking stick bug species increases significantly, with Borneo being a hotbed of diversity. In total, there are around 2,500 species worldwide, but only a few are found in North America, while the majority reside in more tropical regions like Borneo.

Some of the traits of their habitats in Borneo and the tropics:

  • High biodiversity
  • Warm temperatures
  • Lush greenery in rainforests

It’s important to note that these insects have adapted to their respective habitats, which contribute to their unique appearances and characteristics, such as color variations and distinctive markings. So, as you explore forests and appreciate the rich biodiversity of habitats in North America or Borneo, keep an eye out for these fascinating walking stick bugs.

Behavior and Lifestyle

Camouflage Tactics

The walking stick bug is an expert at blending in with its surroundings. The insect’s elongated, twig-like body is a perfect adaptation for camouflage in its natural habitat, as it can mimic tree branches and leaves. For instance, the twostriped walkingstick has three black stripes that run along its brown body, making it nearly invisible among tree branches.

Regeneration

One incredible feature of walking stick bugs is their ability to regenerate lost limbs. If the insect loses a leg, it can grow a new one during its next molting phase. This fantastic regeneration ability helps them survive in their environment where predators might try to catch them by their legs.

Regenerating Lost in Walking Stick Bugs:

  • Only occurs during the molting process
  • Helps them survive in a predator-rich environment

Nocturnal Movements

Walking stick bugs are nocturnal creatures, which means they are most active during nighttime hours. Being active at night adds an extra layer of protection to their already excellent camouflage capabilities. Nocturnal movement also allows them to avoid predators that are more active during the day. So, remember that if you are looking for walking stick bugs, your best chance of seeing them is after the sun goes down.

Nocturnal Habits of Walking Stick Bugs:

  • Active during the night
  • Adds extra protection to their camouflage
  • Helps avoid daytime predators

Diet

Walking stick bugs, like the twostriped walkingstick, are herbivores that primarily feed on leaves and twigs. Their diet consists mainly of foliage from trees and shrubs, making them an essential part of the ecosystem.

You might find them munching on a variety of plant leaves, such as oak, citrus, and rose leaves. Since walking stick bugs are herbivores, you won’t have to worry about them eating other insects or causing harm to fellow creatures in their habitat.

  • Leaves: These herbivores enjoy feasting on different types of leaves, including those from oak, citrus, and rose plants.
  • Twigs: Twigs and stems can provide additional nourishment to walking stick bugs while they graze on foliage.

It’s important to know that walking stick bugs can be selective eaters, which means they might eat specific types of vegetation. Understanding their dietary needs and preferences can help you better appreciate these unique insects and the role they play in nature.

Reproduction and Lifespan

Egg-Laying and Overwintering

Walking stick bugs lay their eggs in the fall. The eggs are scattered on the ground and end up in the leaf litter. This provides them with a hidden and protective environment during the winter months. Overwintering is a crucial stage in their life cycle, as it helps the eggs survive harsh conditions.

3-Year Life Cycle

The lifespan of the walking stick bug typically follows a 3-year cycle. This consists of the egg stage, nymph stage, and adult stage. During the nymph stage, they shed their skin multiple times before reaching maturity. Once they reach the adult stage, walking stick bugs reproduce and eventually start the cycle again.

Parthenogenetic Reproduction

Some walking stick species, like the Northern Walkingstick (Diapheromera femorata), are capable of a unique method of reproduction called parthenogenesis. In this process, females produce offspring without the need for males or fertilization. This allows these species to thrive even in situations where mating opportunities might be limited.

So, as you can see, the walking stick bug’s reproduction and lifespan have unique aspects when it comes to egg-laying, overwintering, and parthenogenetic reproduction.

Predators

Walking stick bugs, also known as stick insects, have their fair share of predators. Here, we’ll discuss some of the common predators that pose a threat to these fascinating insects.

Birds: Birds, such as vultures, eagles, and falcons, often prey on walking stick bugs. With their keen eyesight, they spot these camouflaged insects and snatch them up in their beaks or talons. Keep an eye on the skies if you’re observing walking stick bugs in the wild.

Bats: Bats are also natural predators of walking stick bugs. Using echolocation, they can detect the insects at night, even when they’re well-camouflaged among the foliage. Bats typically swoop down and catch the bugs in mid-air.

Mantises: Another intriguing predator of walking stick bugs is the praying mantis. These stealthy hunters are known for their patience and accuracy. Mantises rely on their incredible camouflage skills and fast reflexes to capture unsuspecting walking stick bugs.

Now, to summarize the main predators of walking stick bugs:

  • Birds
  • Bats
  • Mantises

Each of these predators poses a different threat to walking stick bugs, utilizing unique hunting techniques. Remember that walking stick bugs’ natural defense is their extraordinary camouflage, which helps them blend in and evade predators. However, these predators have developed their own methods to overcome this defense and prey on walking stick bugs, making them a part of the natural balance in the insect world.

Stick Insects in the Pet Trade

Walking stick bugs, also known as stick insects, have become increasingly popular in the pet trade. Stick insects’ unique appearance and intriguing behaviors make them an attractive choice for those looking for unconventional pets.

Choosing Your Stick Insect

When selecting a stick insect for your pet, it’s essential to consider:

  • Size: Stick insects can range from 2 2/3 to 4 inches long. Be prepared to accommodate their size and anticipate growth.
  • Appearance: Their color varies from brown to green, which can impact their visibility and ease of care.
  • Preferred habitat: Stick insects thrive in environments that mimic their natural surroundings. Make sure you can replicate this in your home.

Caring for Your Stick Insect

Proper stick insect care involves:

  • Feeding: Stick insects primarily feed on leaves from hardwood trees, particularly oaks.
  • Housing: A well-ventilated enclosure with ample space for movement and foliage for camouflage.
  • Handling: Handle with care, since their delicate bodies can be easily damaged.

Pros and Cons of Stick Insects as Pets

Before deciding on a stick insect, consider the following:

Pros:

  • Low maintenance: Stick insects require little attention, as they mostly need fresh leaves for food and a clean enclosure.
  • Unique appearance: Their twig-like bodies make for an interesting conversation starter and a visually stunning exhibit.

Cons:

  • Fragility: Stick insects’ slender build can be easily damaged if not handled with care.
  • Limited interaction: Their preference for camouflage and lack of social behaviors may not provide as much engagement for pet owners used to more interactive animals.

Overall, if you’re searching for a low-maintenance, fascinating pet with a unique appearance, a stick insect may be the perfect addition to your home. Just be prepared to offer the proper care, and keep in mind their inherent fragility and limited interaction.

Footnotes

  1. https://mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/walkingsticks-stick-insects
  2. https://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/walkingstick.htm

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Walkingstick in Hawaii: Sipyloidea sipylus

 

Walking Stick on Maui but where’s it from?
Thu, Oct 23, 2008 at 12:53 PM
Walking Stick on Maui but where’s it from?
Aloha from Maui again. Here’s a walking stick found earlier this month in the late afternoon. The folks at BugGuide and the Bishop Museum, Honolulu seem to be stumped about where this guy/gal came from. It was attached to my back window. About 5-6″ long. Love how the long legs have the antennae tucked between them in the front of the body. It was gone in the morning. About 2 weeks later, another one showed up on the other side of the house. Will send that separately. Imagine my surprise to see this second walking stick on the front door of my house. This one was shorter about 4-5″, much more ‘awake’ than the other one. They do not appear to be the same kind of walking stick from their leg position and coloring, unless this is an earlier version in their life cycle. Mahalo nui loa – Thanks for all!
Eliza
Ha`iku, Maui

Walkingstick
Walkingstick

Hi Eliza,
If your local museum and BugGuide are stumped, we don’t know what more we can do but to post your photos and hope a reader can provide an answer. With the proliferation of exotic pets from around the world, many of which are insects, it isn’t entirely impossible that this is some exotic species that escaped or was released. The leg position in your first photo is a common resting posture of Phasmids.

Walkingstick
Walkingstick

Update:  December 15, 2008
Hello
I would just like to let you know IDs for some of the phasmid (walking
stick) pics you have on your site:
entry 23. 0ctober 2008 – this phasmid from Hawaii is Sipyloidea sipylus.
This species is not native to Hawaii, but to south east asia (like
Malayisa for example). But it has been introduces to several new
locations, like Madagascar and Hawaii
wishing you all the best
Dr. Bruno Kneubühler  (Switzerland)

Letter 2 – Walkingstick from Puerto Rico: Caballo de San Pedro

 

Incredible Walking Stick
Location: Patillas Puerto Rico
March 19, 2011 11:12 am
Hello,
Thanks for your response to pictures of this stickbug i sent in January.
Here are some better pix.
Thanks for helping ID this amazing creature. About 7 inches long, half an inch wide, bright yellow green, with reddish tinges,(pic taken at night under flourescent lights)
Signature: 3t Vakil

Walkingstick

Dear 3t Vakil,
Thanks for sending additional images of your Walkingstick.  Hopefully in the future we may be able to provide a species identification for you.  We tried to color correct your photos, but there is too much color pollution due to the poor lighting conditions.

Walkingstick

Update:  March 20, 2011
Hello Daniel…FYI on that incredible walking stick,
“A rare endemic Puerto Rican female Phasmid called Diapherodes acalus.”  From: Lic. Alfredo D. Colón Archilla. San Juan, Puerto Rico
I found a great site www.phasmatodea.org/species/achalus_diapherodes_72.html that confirmed it.
Many thanks to both of you.
High Regards, 3t

We love that the common name is Caballo de San Pedro.

Letter 3 – Walkingstick from Puerto Rico

 

Stick insect
Location: Patillas, Southern Puerto Rico
January 7, 2011 2:41 pm
Thank you so much for this incredible resource. I live in the forest of Puerto Rico…Would love to know what this stick insect is called.
About 7inches long, incredible cartoony colors. What a character!
Signature: 3t

Walkingstick

Dear 3t,
For identification purposes, it is best to have a nice dorsal view of good resolution as well as some details.  Your composite image obstructs some potential identifying features and the image resolution is quite low.  Your letter indicates that the colors are “cartoony” but you don’t provide specifics, and the lighting conditions under which the photos were taken appear to be incandescent which distorts natural colors.  With that said, we have attempted to identify this species, and we were quite hopeful when we stumbled upon 9 pages of Walkingstick photos on the Puerto Rico Wildlife website of Alfredo Colón, but alas, not of the images seems to exactly match your specimen.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to assist in this identification.

Update: March 20, 2011
Hello Daniel…FYI on that incredible walking stick,
“A rare endemic Puerto Rican female Phasmid called Diapherodes acalus.”  From: Lic. Alfredo D. Colón Archilla. San Juan, Puerto Rico
I found a great site www.phasmatodea.org/species/achalus_diapherodes_72.html that confirmed it.
Many thanks to both of you.
High Regards, 3t

We love that the common name is Caballo de San Pedro.

Letter 4 – Western Shorthorned Walkingstick

 

Walking stick from Eastern Washington
Location: Yakima, WA
November 2, 2010 11:17 am
I was surprised to find a couple of these Phasmatodeans in Eastern Washington. Do you think they live in sagebrush or the shrub elm I found them near. If they hadn’t been blow onto the pavement, there would be no hope of finding them. Real short antennae.
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=293596&id=748938972&l=6a428cfa4a
Signature: Paul Huffman, President-for-Life, Moclips Surf Club

Western Shorthorned Walkingstick

Hi Paul,
Your Walkingstick photo is quite nice.  We believe it is a Northern Walkingstick,
Diapheromera femorata, which is found in nearby Alberta Canada, according to BugGuide and your image matches an image posted to BugGuide that is identified as a Northern Walkingstick.  According to BugGuide, they feed on “Foliage of deciduous trees and shrubs, especially oaks and hazelnuts” so we would hazard that your individual was more likely feeding on the elm than the sagebrush.

Correction
Once Paul wrote a comment on the length of the antennae, we realized that this must be a Western Shorthorned Walkingstick,
Parabacillus hesperus, which is illustrated on BugGuide, though its range is listed as California and Oregon, and not as far North as Washington.

Letter 5 – Western Shorthorned Walkingstick

 

In the mantis family?
location:  Glassell Park, Los Angeles, CA
June 4, 2011  11:48 AM
Ed. Note: The following is a transcription from Daniel’s voicemail
Daniel
It’s Helene.  I don’t believe what I’m looking at.  This is the strangest thing.  If there wasn’t two little scrawny legs bent in the back I wouldn’t think it was a living thing.  It’s remarkable.  I’m taking photos.  I’ll be sending them to you.  Bye.

Western Shorthorned Walkingstick

Hi Helene,
This is a Walkingstick or Phasmid.  Alas, your photo does not contain the necessary details to ascertain for certain the species identity, though there are allegedly only three species of Walkingsticks in the Los Angeles Basin according to Charles Hogue in his landmark book Insects of the Los Angeles Basin.  This Walkingstick actually has three pairs of legs and the front pair is held in such a manner as to hide the details of the antennae.  We believe this is most likely a Western Shorthorned Walkingstick,
Parabacillus hesperus, which you can view on BugGuide.  Walkingsticks feed on vegetation, and they blend in so well with the twigs of the plants that they are almost never seen.  According to Hogue, the primary host plants in Los Angeles include “burroweed (Haplopappus), globemallow (Sphaeralcea), mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus), and buckwheat (Eriogonum).

Ed. Note: Helene eventually wrote in this account”
I saw this beautiful Walking stick INSECT* on my house near my front door this morning and I just went wild.  (S)he’s 6” long and simply amazing.  At first I thought it was looking to eat the moths and bugs that are drawn to the porch light just a few inches above it.  But when I looked it up I noticed it’s in the Phasmatodea family and, as such, is an herbivore.
It’s slow moving and has only changed direction by 45 degrees in the last 6 hours.  It’s got a long way to go to get back to the garden.

Ed. Note:
* The anagram that Helene used was not NICEST, and in an effort to save her any embarrassment, we have made a spelling correction. In Helene’s defense, insects have no taboo regarding procreation with siblings.

Western Shorthorned Walkingstick

Update: June 5, 2011
We decided a trip to Helene’s house, about a mile from our offices, was a great way to spend Sunday morning, and we took a camera.  We nudged this critter and were thrilled to see that it was indeed a Western Shorthorned Walkingstick.  Helene was concerned that it was near the porch light for 24 hours and there was nothing on the side of the house for it to eat.  Helene didn’t believe she had any of the listed food plants growing in her yard, so we asked if Helene would mind if we relocated her Walkingstick to nearby Elyria Canyon Park where there is some healthy buckwheat growing.  Helene agreed and provided an empty yoghurt container to use for the transport.  The Walkingstick was coaxed into the container and Helene had punched air holes into the lid with a kitchen knife.  We aborted our plans to go to the PCC swapmeet and decided instead to head directly to Elyria Canyon Park.  Not 30 seconds after being released onto a very large stand of buckwheat, the Western Shorthorned Walkingstick began to munch on the blossoms.  We believe she is a female based on this closeup view of the end of the abdomen from BugGuide which matches our little beauty.

Western Shorthorned Walkingstick

Ed. Note: We wonder if perhaps since Helene lives in a high fire zone hillside that nearby brush clearance might have resulted in this Phasmid being displaced from its original habitat, causing it to seek shelter at Helene’s porch light.  We will further question Helene on this matter.

 

Good morning Daniel,
First, thank you for lending your support to the Walkingstick and helping to relocate her to a more appropriate environment.  I’m sure she’s a much happier girl now.
I do live in a high fire zone area and the hillside above me was cleared about 2 or 3 weeks back.  Where our Walkingstick was found was a good 25 yards from that open hillside.  I also wonder if the moderate to high winds we had last week could have contributed to her being transported to my front porch.  However she got there it must have been a treacherous journey because she had to cross a lot of brick and cedar siding to reach my porch light.
Helene

Thanks Helene,
If the hillside above you was cleared, bundled brush might have been dragged near your porch.  If the Walkingstick was left behind but no longer had anything to eat, she may have been on a quest to locate food.  Her immediate nibbling at the buckwheat blossoms upon her introduction into Elyria Canyon Park is a good indication she was without food for some time.  Wind can always be a factor in insect distribution, though the Western Shorthorned Walkingstick is a wingless species.

 

 

 

 

 

Letter 6 – Walkingstick

 

Walking Stick
Location: Staten Island N.Y.
September 1, 2011 4:21 pm
Today my wife was working in the garden and when she went the watering can there was a walking stick on it. She had always wondered why she never saw one because we live in a very wooded area. Well today she had one walk on her hand. What do they eat and what eats them?
Signature: Brian Madigan

Walkingstick

Hi Brian,
Walkingsticks feed upon foliage, often the leaves of broadleaf trees.  We have never seen a photo of a Walkingstick being eaten by anything, though we imagine insectivorous birds will eat them.  They have such good camouflage presumably to protect them from predators.

Letter 7 – Walkingstick

 

Subject: What on earth is this thing!?
Location: East Coast, USA
December 2, 2012 9:38 pm
I saw this on the east coast, USA, in a parking lot- What on earth is this!? I have video of it walking too.
Signature: MetalJay

Walkingstick

Dear MetalJay,
This is a Walkingstick or Stick Insect and they are easily overlooked when they are on plants as they are excellently camouflaged.

Letter 8 – Walkingstick

 

Subject: Is it a Timema?
Location: Manhattan Beach, ca
January 26, 2013 8:13 pm
I am referred to this site by Theodore Payne Foundation. I found this bug on my garage, steps away from Ceanothus and Manzanita bushes that have been growing in my front yard for 12 years. The bug is 4 1/2” long. I googled and found that perhaps it is a Timema (they do like Ceanothus). I have never seen anything like it before. I thought perhaps it was a walking stick but its body looked more like a non-slimey slug; not rigid like a stick. In the second picture I was trying to get its legs, which appeared to be long & strait and I think there were 2 in both front and back. Thanks for anything you might be able to do.
Signature: Monla

Walkingstick

Hi Monla,
How nice to hear of the Theodore Payne Foundation recommendation.  This appears to be one of the Stick Insects in the order Phasmida, but there are not enough characteristics visible for us to speculate on a more specific identification due to its tightly retracted position.  It might be in the genus
Pseudosermyle, which is pictured on BugGuide.  It is not a Timema.

Oh wow, thank you so much and I might add what a quick response!

Letter 9 – Walkingstick

 

Subject: Bug on mangrove
Location: Big Pine Key, Florida
April 21, 2013 3:50 pm
This bug was found eating the leaves of some sprouts of mangrove that we rooted in a dish. We are 30 miles above Key West, Fl
Signature: John Asbell

Walkingstick
Walkingstick

Dear John,
This is some species of Walkingstick or Phasmid.  They have excellent camouflage when feeding upon plants.  We will try to determine which species this is, but considering your location, it might be a tropical import.

Walkingstick
Walkingstick

Thanks. I look forward to any other information such as whether it is toxic, bites, poisonous etc.
John Asbell


Letter 10 – Walkingstick from Central America

 

Subject: What’s this bug???
Location: Central America
January 6, 2016 6:20 pm
Can you help me identify this bug? Is it dangerous with kids? Do I need to be worried?
Thanks a lot for your help.
Signature: Enrique

Walkingstick
Walkingstick

Dear Enrique,
This is a Stick Insect or Walkingstick in the order Phasmida, and most Walkingsticks are perfectly harmless, though members of the family Pseudophasmatidae, the Striped Walkingsticks, are able to spray a caustic substance with remarkable accuracy into the eyes of an attacker.  We do not believe your individual is in the family Pseudophasmatidae, but exercising caution is recommended.  Central America is a large area and more location specificity might have helped our research.

Letter 11 – Walkingstick from Costa Rica

 

Subject:  White Walking Stick
Geographic location of the bug:  Costa Rica
Date: 01/22/2018
Time: 10:20 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I spotted this very small (only a few cm) walking stick like insect at Rainmaker Conservatory outside of Quepos in Costa Rica. It looked more like the small white roots around where it was spotted. I was only able to find stock photos of it on google under “albino walking stick,” but with no ID.  Any help would be wonderful.
How you want your letter signed:  Clayton M

Walkingstick

Dear Clayton,
This appears to be an immature individual, which might make it difficult to identify.  Additionally, newly molted insects are often white or light in color, and the darken when their exoskeleton hardens, like this freshly molted Earwig or this newly molted Brown Marmorated Stink Bug.

Thanks for your reply!  I also posted the picture on Reddit, and someone said it might be a very immature Moss Mimic Stick which makes a lot of sense based on the head, antennae, and how it holds its abdomen.

Letter 12 – Walkingstick from Borneo

 

Big Stick Insect
Sat, Jan 10, 2009 at 6:21 AM
Hey there.
More than 30cm long, including legs. For sure one of the longest insects in the world.
When it saw me, it starting to move in my direction, leaving the handrail, and trying to grab my lens!
Found during the morning, on the handrail of the plank walk.
Joana Garrido
Niah National Park, Sarawak, Borneo

Walkingstick
Walkingstick

Hi Joana,
Thank you for sending us your spectacular images. This Walkingstick is so delicate looking. While it may be one of the longest insects in the world, it definitely falls into the rail-thin fashion model category. That headshot is priceless. We will try to get a species identification.

Walkingstick
Walkingstick

Update: Mon, Jan 12, 2009 at 4:42 PM
Daniel:
What an amazing creature! I can’t be certain about this one (I think I will continue looking) but it looks like it is probably in the genus Phobaeticus, possibly P. kirbyi. The genus has the distinction of having the two longest insects in the world (the record holder is P. chani, also from Borneo). According to Wikipedia, the holotype for P. kirbyi “…measures 328 millimetres (12.9 in) excluding legs and 546 millimetres (21.5 in) including legs. This makes it the second longest known insect in terms of body length, behind Phobaeticus chani with 357 millimetres (14.1 in).” The specimen in the photo looks like it is probably a male, which are typically smaller and less robust than the females. The following link connects to the best image I was able to find, showing a mating pair (it’s a little hard to figure out the tangle). Regards.
Karl
Link: http://phasmatodea.com/index. php?module=xd_gallery&func= image&xdpage=&xgi=1433&xgc=356

Letter 13 – Walkingstick from Costa Rica

 

Subject:  strange insect
Geographic location of the bug:  Rincón de la Vieja National Park, Costa Rica
Date: 08/04/2019
Time: 05:44 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello,
I found this strange looking insect at the Rincon-National Park in Costa Rica in the rainforest at 840m MSL. Date taken: Oct 18
Please identify.
Thank you in advance
How you want your letter signed:  Johannes

Walkingstick

Dear Johannes,
This is a Walkingstick in the insect order Phasmida, but we are not certain of the species.  We are especially interested in what appears to be a strand of silk that it is walking upon.  To the best of our knowledge, Walkinsticks do not produce silk.  Our best guess on this is that perhaps it is either walking on or trapped on the silken threads of a Spiders’ web.

yes, you are right. It was walking within this silk construct. It seemed not to be trapped, but I also think that it is not belonging to the web.

Letter 14 – Walkingstick from Ecuador

 

Possible Rove Beetle
Location: Andes – Ecuador
January 4, 2011 9:01 pm
I was browsing the web trying to find this beetle I saw in Cajas National Park in Ecuador and came across your website. It seems that someone hiking there sent in a picture of a similar creature.
2010/03/23/andean-insect-rove-beetle-perhaps/
I was wondering if based on my pictures you could give any more information about what I found.
When this guy walked his tail was flat on the ground, but when I stopped to take a picture of him his tail swung up like you can see it in the picture. My first thought was Scorpion, but then I counted the legs and ruled that out.
Signature: Dan Hall

Walkingstick

Dear Dan,
While the jury is still out on the posting you cited, we are confident that you photographed a Phasmid or Walkingstick.  We are going to try to identify the species.  Your letter and photograph also bring up the possibility that the previous posting was also a Phasmid or Walkingstick, though our original comment that including the head in the photograph would assist in the identification still stands.

Walkingstick

Identification courtesy of Karl: Monticomorpha semele
Hi Daniel and Dan:
It’s a Walkingstick in the genus Monticomorpha (family Pseudophasmatidae; subfamily Pseudophasmatinae; tribe Anisomorphini). There appear to be seven species in the genus, all but one of which is limited to the northern Andes, and most of which can be eliminated on the bases of color. As far as I can tell, the only species with both reddish legs and head is M. semele (formerly Anisomorpha semele), which is found in both Ecuador and Peru. I can’t be certain but it looks like M. semele may be the species. Regards.  Karl

Thanks so much Karl.  Do you agree that the creature in our previous posting, 2010/03/23/andean-insect-rove-beetle-perhaps/ is also a member of this genus?

Hi Daniel.  All the pictures I have seen for this genus look quite similar and collectively they are very unique (at least I haven’t come across anything else that looks like this). I think they pretty much have to belong to the same genus. K

Letter 15 – Walkingstick from Grenada

 

Caribbean cricket nymph?
Location: Carriacou, Grenada, Windward Islands
September 10, 2011 11:20 am
Hi Bugman,
Found these huge insects feeding on foliage in a small coniferous tree. Locals call it a ’God horse’ but this usually refers to a Mantid. This specimen didnt have the telltale triangular head like most Mantids. They are about 200mm in length (head to ovipositor spike) and were very active at night. They had small vestigial wings on their backs which made me think they might be a nymph stage.
Can you help?
Signature: Cheers! Joey Baloney

Walkingstick

Dear Joey Baloney,
This is a Walkingstick, and it looks very similar to a photo we posted from Puerto Rico several years ago.  That species was identified as
Diapherodes acalus and it is commonly called Caballo de San Pedro or St. Peter’s Horse.  We believe that based on the Phasmids in Cyberspace website, that your individual is a female Diapherodes giganteaJonathan’s Jungle Roadshow also has some wonderful photos of this large Walkingstick.

Hi Daniel
Many thanks for your prompt and positive response! I have spent hours on the internet trying to identify it with absolutely no luck whatsoever.
Can I add my sincere appreciation to the work that you guys do?
One last thing – can you shed some light on where this species sits in relation to other related genera?
Thanks again
Joey baloney

Hi Again Joey,
We are having a bit of trouble with your taxonomy question.  On the French website Le Monde des Phasmes, Diapherodes gigantea is classified in the subfamily Cladomorphinae, and on the Spanish language website, Phasmiduniverse, the subfamily Cladomorphinae is categorized in the family Phasmatidae along with:
“Subfamilia Cladomorphinae (Brunner von Wattenwyl 1893)
Subfamilia Clitumninae (Brunner von Wattenwyl 1893)
Subfamilia Eurycanthinae (Brunner von Wattenwyl 1893)
Subfamilia Extatosomatinae (Sellick 1997)
Subfamilia Lonchodinae (Brunner von Wattenwyl 1893)
Subfamilia Phasmatinae (Gray, G.R. 1835)
Subfamilia Platycraninae (Brunner von Wattenwyl 1893)
Subfamilia Tropidoderinae (Brunner von Wattenwyl 1893)
Subfamilia Xeroderinae (Günther 1953).”
BugGuide indicates that there is only one North American species, , but states:  “a single sp. in our area(1); a very large family, with ca. 160 genera worldwide(2)” and lists the range as:  “all major zoogeographical regions(2); in our area, FL only(1).”  The only species in the family reported on
BugGuide from North America is Carausius morosus – Indian Stick Insect and BugGuide states:  “Introduced and considered a pest in southern California.”  We suspect these are exotic pet escapees.  Because BugGuide mentions Florida as the only place the family is represented, we suspect a native species in the family has not been photographed and reported to BugGuide.

Letter 16 – Walkingstick from Italy

 

Italy – Phasmatodea
Location: Italy (near Viterbo)
October 31, 2010 4:48 pm
Hello Bugman,
I saw this stick-bug yesterday (I believe it is called Phasmatodea). I thought you may be interested in this. I was.
Bye
Signature: Saverio

Walkingstick

Hi Saverio,
Thanks so much for sending your photo.  We don’t get many submissions from Italy.  We commonly call Phasmids Walkingsticks in North America.  We did a bit of research and learned on the University of Groningen website that:  “In Europe, some ten species can be found in the Mediterranean region
” and that some of them have been reclassified into a new genus.

Letter 17 – Walkingstick from Japan

 

Walkingstick ID question
What a great website! I’m no entomologist by any means, but as a birder, I find myself curious about just about anything else that crosses my path. I photographed this walkingstick in late spring 2005 on the grounds of Hiroshima Shudo University, Hiroshima, Japan. Sorry for the lack of size reference, it was about four inches or so in length. I’ve got a few more unidentified insects in my photos from that trip, but I figured I’d pace myself and send these in singly over time. Cheers!
Carlos Ross
college student / freelance pop culture journalist / birder
Arizona State University
Tempe, Arizona, USA

Hi Carlos,
Sorry we cannot identify what species this Walkingstick is, but we will post it in the hopes on of our readers can assist. Thank you very much for pacing your images. It makes it very difficult for us to post letters when there are photos that must be archived on multiple pages.

Letter 18 – Walkingstick from Madagascar

 

Animal in Madagaskar
Hello,
I’m asking from Germany for Identification of this animal I found in the rainforest near Andasibe / Perinet in Madagaskar. Thank you very much.
Yours
Christian

Hi Christian,
The Walkingstick you photographed in Madagascar is missing a front leg.

Letter 19 – Walkingstick from Malaysia

 

Subject: Identify this bug
Location: Malaysia
October 2, 2015 12:12 pm
Hello there,
Can someone help me to identify what bug is this?
Looking forward your answer. Thank you.
Signature: reply the answer to my email please

Spiny Walkingstick
Spiny Walkingstick

This looks like a Walkingstick or Phasmid, and we believe it might be a male Hoploclonia cuspidata like the one pictured on Wild Borneo and on FlickR.

Letter 20 – Walkingstick from Thailand

 

Subject: Stick insect I.D.
Location: Thailand
June 19, 2012 4:10 am
Sir
I have sent several photos in the past to be Identified but not yet had a reply.
I live in Thailand and it’s pretty difficult to name a lot of the insects I find.Here are some for you t look at.
Signature: lenny

Walkingstick

Dear Lenny,
This is a beautiful Walkingstick or Phasmid, but we do not know the species.  We will try to research it.  We apologize for not responding to your earlier emails, but we have a tiny and overwhelmed staff and the past few weeks have been especially hectic in our personal lives.  Emails back up and many never even get opened.  We are guessing that Khao-Soi-Dao, the name on your files, is the local name for this lovely Phasmid that would be perfectly camouflaged on that twig were it not for the chrome yellow collar.

Walkingstick

Hello Daniel
Thank you for your prompt reply.
Khao Soi Dao is a National Park not to far from Cambodia.
The yellow collar was only shown when the insect was touched
and was withdrawn after a few seconds.Probably a defence of some sort
to frighten preditors.  It’ difficult here in Thailand to I.D. stuff.It means trawling the internet
for hours looking for photos of the insects I have seen only to find they
also don’t know the correct Latin name.
There is a guide,Beetles of Thailand,but I already have seen 30odd species
not even in there.Frustrating.
Anyway thanks again’hope to hear from you soon.
Lenny

Walkingstick

Very Interesting.  Thanks for the additional information Lenny.  We have had no luck with a species identification.

 

Letter 21 – Walkingstick Outbreak in Philippines

 

big eaters

Unknown Walkingstick

big eaters
Location: Benguet, Philippines
April 1, 2011 7:29 am
Please help me identify these insects and let me know how best to control them. I believe they are responsible for the leaves (or the lack of). I just moved in to a house in Benguet, Philippines, which is about 1400m/5000ft above sea level. Current temp range is 55-74F (13-23C). I brought a lot of plants with me and noticed these insects in a tree on the other side of the fence. I’m afraid my plants are next.
Signature: G Lee

Walkingsticks

Dear G Lee,
This is some species of Walkingstick or Stick Insect, also known as a Phasmid.  Very few insects are indiscriminate feeders, and you probably do not need to worry about the plants you brought unless they are the same as the plants upon which the Phasmids are currently feeding.  We will try to identify this species, but our initial search did not provide any species name.  Perhaps our readership will be able to contribute to this identification.  The red wings on the larger individuals, presumably the females, are quite distinctive.

Walkingsticks

Hi Daniel and G Lee:
The photos appear to include a combination of adults (or perhaps sub-adults) and juveniles at various stages of development.  I am not certain but I believe they probably belong to the genus Orthomeria. They look quite similar to O. pandora, coincidentally the only species I could definitely place in the Philippines. Compare to the faded museum specimen at the far right in this image, or check out a selection of adult and juvenile images at PhasmaPhils (a site dedicated to Philippine Phasmids).  Most images of adults show prominent red eyes while juveniles have dark eyes, hence, I was wondering if the largest ones in the posted photos are actually fully developed adults. Unfortunately, the species appears to be quite variable in other aspects as well which makes it difficult to be confident, but I believe this is getting close. Regards.  Karl

Update April 8, 2011
Hi.  Thanks for your help.  Here’s another picture I took recently that shows the red-winged one on top of the other.  I thought you might be interested.
The other pic is just for kicks.

Mating Walkingsticks

Hi again G. Lee,
Thanks for the update and also for including the image of the mating pair of Walkingsticks.

Walkingsticks

Letter 22 – Walkingsticks

 

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.
Thanks,
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.

Letter 23 – Walkingsticks as pets

 

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.

Letter 24 – Walkingsticks from Mexico: Mayan Little Brother Bug

 

spraying bug in Mexico
August 7, 2009
I work in the rural Yucatan Peninsula with local Mayans. One of my workers was sprayed in the eye by an unknown bug or bugs. The bug carried another bug on its back. Both are similar, but the carrier was much larger. Unfortunately, I don’t have a good foto. I send what I have, which is really just a piece of the larger of the two. They workers killed the bugs and I collected what the ants had not yet eaten. The workers said the bugs resemble crickets, only larger. Their name for the bug in Maya translates “little brother bug,” because they say the smaller of the bugs attached to the larger, is the little brother. Thanks for any help. I want to make sure my guy will be OK or if he needs any special treatment. Thanks!
Patrick
Yucatan Peninsula, MX

Mayan Little Brother Bug fragment
Mayan Little Brother Bug fragment

Hi Patrick,
We hope you are not offended if we say that your description was far more helpful with the identification than your blurry photos.  Your spraying insect is a Walkingstick in the family Pseudophasmatidae, the Striped Walkingsticks, and quite possibly in the genus Anisomorpha.  There are two species north of Mexico, one of which is the Two Striped Walkingstick or Muskmare.  According to BugGuide:  “Members of this genus can deliver a chemical spray to the eyes that can cause corneal damage (references quoted Texas entomology).
”  Most reports we receive say the effects wear off after several hours. The females are called Muskmares because of the spray and because the smaller males ride the backs of the females during the mating process.  We are intrigued that  Little Brother Bug is the Mayan name.

Letter 25 – Walkingsticks: Intimate Moment

 

Hi there,
I love your website, and find myself checking it regularly. I thought you might like a couple of photos I took. The walking sticks are clearly happy and content on my house wall.
Grace E. Pedalino
Troy, Virginia

Hi Grace,
And by the look of your intimate moment photo, there will be a new generation of Walkingsticks next year. Also check out Grace’s great Preying Mantis photo and maternal Wolf Spider.

Letter 26 – Walkingsticks Mating

 

Mating Walking Sticks – Insex
Found these two spending a few hours on the outside wall of my house in the Ozarks of Arkansas. I take it these are not the “muskmares” that spray noxious fumes.
Ken

Hi Ken,
You are correct. These are not Muskmares. We believe them to be Northern Walkingsticks, Diapheromera femorata, which range as far south as Northern Florida. There is more information on BugGuide.

Letter 27 – Walkingsticks with Chemical Defenses

 

Studying phasmids
Location: Florida, USA
August 28, 2011 12:57 am
Hello,
I study the chemical defenses of stick insects. I see some species on your site that I am interested in analyzing the defense spray of. Could you please help put me in contact with the people who have posted some of the inquiries, since they seem to have access to the respective species live?
Here is one example that seems to be a recent post – I would love to contact this person about their insect, as they may still have them!
“big eaters
Location: Benguet, Philippines
April 1, 2011 7:29 am
Please help me identify these insects and let me know how best to control them. I believe they are responsible for the leaves (or the lack of). I just moved in to a house in Benguet, Philippines, which is about 1400m/5000ft above sea level. Current temp range is 55-74F (13-23C). I brought a lot of plants with me and noticed these insects in a tree on the other side of the fence. I’m afraid my plants are next.
Signature: G Lee”
Signature: Aaron T. Dossey, Ph.D

Dear Dr. Aaron T. Dossey,
With the quantity of emails that we receive, it is often difficult to track a letter from the previous week because we often delete them after responding.  We do not maintain a database of all of our contributors and considering we have well over 13,000 postings, finding contact information on an older posting can be nearly impossible.  We will try to search our sent mail for early April to see if we have the information you request.  We would also suggest that you post a comment to the letter you have cited since our readership occasionally returns to view letters they have posted in the past.

Letter 28 – Western Short-Horned Walkingstick

 

Subject: Pink Stickbug???
Location: Idyllwild, CA
October 19, 2012 6:40 pm
Hi, I live in Idyllwild, CA and I found a red/pink stickbug in my garden. Could you please identify it?
Signature: Josh

Western Short-Horned Walkingstick

Dear Josh,
The very short antennae are distinctive on the Western Short-Horned Walkingstick,
Pseudosermyle straminea.  They are fond of buckwheat.

Letter 29 – Western Shorthorned Walkingstick

 

Subject: Stick Insect
Location: Near Sierra Vista, Arizona
September 15, 2012 11:38 am
I saw this about a week ago (September 2012)near Sierra Vista, Arizona. Is it native? Do you know its name? The stick insects I see in Berkeley, CA are usually classroom pets that have escaped.
Signature: Caterpillarlady

Western Shorthorned Walkingstick

Dear Caterpillarlady,
This is a Western Shorthorned Walkingstick,
Parabacillus hesperus, and it is a native species, not a classroom escapee.  Though BugGuide only has submissions from California, the range is indicated as:  “California and Oregon in the west, east through Arizona, Nevada, Utah and New Mexico to Texas” and the habitat is listed as:  “Chaparral and grassland.”

Letter 30 – Witch's Horse: New name for Two Striped Walkingstick

 

Anisomorpha photos – are you willing or able to ID to species?
Good Afternoon!!
Wow – what a great insect ID resource! As a result of the information available on your website, I was able to identify, at least to Genus, photos I had taken of a large walkingstick-like insect back in October of 2000. These were taken in Dugger Mountain Wilderness, Shoal Creek Ranger District, National Forests in Alabama (Calhoun County, in North Alabama). It was a single individual, and about 3 inches in length. By moving slowly, and using sweetgum leaves (underside showing in the photo), I was able to get fairly close to get these photos. I suspect I would have been even more circumspect had I realized it could produce a noxious discharge! What I am not positive about is the species. The location (Southern Appalachian ecoregion) would indicate it to be A. ferruginous, but going by photos and size, there is a slight possibility it could be A. buprestoides. Locals refer to it as the Devil’s Riding Horse or Witch’s Horse. So before I label this completely, I wanted to see if you-all would be kind enough to take a shot a the ID. Obviously, since these photos were taken October 17, 2000, I am not in a hurry for any reply. However, due to your postings, I finally have a genus with which to label these photos (other than Big Ugly Bug 1, 2, & 3). Thanks for the great work on your site, and thank you in advance for your time and skills!!
Rhonda Stewart
Botanist/Ecologist
USForest Service

Hi Rhonda,
While we do not have the necessary skill to positively identify your Walkingstick to the species level, we are very intrigued with the two new names you have provided for this fascinating insect. We especially like Witch’s Horse and both names referring to the mating activity.

Authors

    by
  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

28 thoughts on “Walking Stick Bugs: Nature’s Camouflaged Marvels Revealed”

  1. this phasmid from Hawaii is Sipyloidea sipylus.
    This species is not native to Hawaii, but to south east asia (like
    Malayisa for example). But it has been introduces to several new
    locations, like Madagascar and seemingly Hawaii

    Reply
  2. Aloha! We live on Kauai. Last night we discovered a walking stick on the side of our Toyota Highlander. My daughter placed it in a jar. I’ll take a picture of it. As I “google” around the WEB I notice by the dates of the search, the Big Island got it first, then Maui, and now Kauai. Interesting. It’s a real world traveler. Looks like the bug in the first Men in Black.

    Reply
  3. I looked at all photos of orthomerias and none of them seem to have the distinctive red wings. O. Pandora males have yellow wings. Unless it belongs to a different genus, I believe it could be a new species. I hope he hasn’t sprayed it with insecticide. Those things need to be studied.

    Reply
    • Thanks for your perspective on this matter. Even if they were not a new species, we would frown on the use of insecticides which never seem to target only a single species.

      Reply
  4. Absolutely. That goes without saying. I know a few phasmid enthusiasts here in the Philippines who have asked him to send them some samples but have not gotten anything from him. I hope anyone else who has seen these possibly new phasmid up close posts about it.

    Reply
  5. What does pink winged walking stick feed on. The literature says blackberry leaves, but there are no blackberries anywhere nearby my location. I’m assuming it has been feeding on other plants.

    Reply
  6. We just found a baby Walking Stick bug in our yard in Kilauea on Kauai. We kept it under glass overnight and it molted. I read up on it and discovered that Stick bugs molt multiple times as they grow to adult.

    Reply
  7. So there is still no definite name for this stick yet? I have also seen these during my last two visits in remotes of Ifugao province. These species emits foul pungent odor, maybe as defense. Local folks also considered it as pest in their ricefields. I’m interested for its name as I labeled it as “Unknown Spotting” at Project Noah.

    http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/1102896005

    Reply
  8. So there is still no definite name for this stick yet? I have also seen these during my last two visits in remotes of Ifugao province. These species emits foul pungent odor, maybe as defense. Local folks also considered it as pest in their ricefields. I’m interested for its name as I labeled it as “Unknown Spotting” at Project Noah.

    http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/1102896005

    Reply
  9. Dear Dr. Aaron T. Dossey,

    I’ve been to Ifugao Province lately and had these stick on my hands. yes they emit a pungent odor maybe as their defense and its fairly annoying. If you are still interested to do your research, i might be of help if you still need it as we are going to have our regular annual outreach program to remote places of Ifugao. Or better yet, we can set travel to address your concern. My last visit was October 6, 2014 where I got a couple species of this walking sticks. I’m also much interested for the proper identification as I just labeled it as “Unknown Spotting” at Project Noah.

    http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/1102896005

    and another specie, which i’ve only photographed and haven’t handled it, so i cant just assume that it vents chemicals…

    http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/1086206010

    my Email
    kdon.galay@icloud.com
    kdon.galay@gmail.com

    Reply
  10. Dear Dr. Aaron T. Dossey,

    I’ve been to Ifugao Province lately and had these stick on my hands. yes they emit a pungent odor maybe as their defense and its fairly annoying. If you are still interested to do your research, i might be of help if you still need it as we are going to have our regular annual outreach program to remote places of Ifugao. Or better yet, we can set travel to address your concern. My last visit was October 6, 2014 where I got a couple species of this walking sticks. I’m also much interested for the proper identification as I just labeled it as “Unknown Spotting” at Project Noah.

    http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/1102896005

    and another specie, which i’ve only photographed and haven’t handled it, so i cant just assume that it vents chemicals…

    http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/1086206010

    my Email
    kdon.galay@icloud.com
    kdon.galay@gmail.com

    Reply
  11. I´m very interested in this insects ( Orthomeria sp Benquet), especially which plants they eat. In the internet I found the information that they were fed with
    pyracantha and/or neetles, but on the pictures are leaves of other trees. What are the names of these plants?

    Reply
  12. I´m very interested in this insects ( Orthomeria sp Benquet), especially which plants they eat. In the internet I found the information that they were fed with
    pyracantha and/or neetles, but on the pictures are leaves of other trees. What are the names of these plants?

    Reply
  13. Just found a seemingly similar type of insect to the first picture outside my house, this is on Oahu. It doesn’t seem to be endemic to Hawaii from what I have read.

    Reply
  14. I find these a lot in my garden in Guatemala. Looks like a cross between a scorpion and a cricket. Haven’t been able to find an accurate identification yet.

    Reply
  15. I just found one outside my front door in Guatemala and found the curled tail strange. But I found this post and it’s exactly like the picture above.

    Reply
  16. I live in Moanalua Valley on Oahu and just found a walking stick behind our house. Fascinating that my research says this bug isn’t supposed to be here. With so few sightings I wish I had kept it. I let it go in some shrubs to keep the ants away from it. Will keep an eye out for more.

    Reply
  17. These are Orthomeria kangi, recently described species, it was still a new species by the time the pics were posted 🙂

    Reply
  18. I just found one on my kitchen window this morning – still there – and was amazed since I have never seen one in this area . I live in Pacific Grove, CA. I thought maybe it would eat some kind of pine because it looks so much like a bundle of pine needles. There are none of the plants you mentioned in this immediate area.

    Reply
  19. One of them came in from my garden in Ahualoa on on some amaranth leaves, the leaves had large holes from being chewed on by something so perhaps the stick insect was eating them. When I put it outside it played dead, catatonic.

    Reply
  20. We just found our first on the window this morning in Haiku. We’ve never seen them here before. Are these something that going to take over?

    Reply
  21. I live on Oahu-the species escaped from university of Hawaii many years ago-it is from Madagascar-I live on Oahu high up on the mountains-they come out at night and eat my roses-you have to be careful they spay a neurotoxin and my sons leg went numb

    Reply

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