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Northern Walking Stick

Northern Walking Stick

Northern Walking Stick Fact Sheet

  • Latin Name

    Diapheromera femorata
  • Class

    Insects
  • Order

    Phasmida
  • Range

    The species has a broad geographic range across North America. They are found in 38 U.S. states, from the Atlantic coastline to New Mexico and as far north as Alberta, Canada.
  • Status

    Common
  • Habitat

    Deciduous woods and forests. They may also be found in agricultural fields, urban gardens, and residential yards.
  • Niche

    Northern walking sticks feed on the foliage of trees and shrubbery. Oak and hazelnut trees are preferred food sources.
  • Life History

    They are a solitary species, coming together to mate. Breeding occurs late August through October, peaking in September. Females drop eggs one at a time onto the forest floor; eggs overwinter until spring when they hatch. Once born, nymphs fend for themselves; no parental care is provided. They are mature by 80 days. During their development they molt five times.
  • Special Adaptations

    Their main defense against predators, such as crows and robin, is camouflage. They remain motionless with their legs close to their bodies, resembling a twig. They also have a remarkable ability to regenerate legs lost by attacks from predators.

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