California Timema (Timema spp.)
Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the California Timema.
Updated: 2/15/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
A relative of the popular Walkingstick, Timemas are usually shorter, fatter and slower, but just as much fun to watch.
There are fewer than 25 known species of Timemas in North America. Much like their relatives, the Walkingsticks, they can appear green or brown in color and have hints of white or pink as well. They have a rough-looking, bumpy exterior and a short, stout body. The smaller male will usually ride on the back of the larger female for most of their adult lives. A female drops fertilized eggs on the ground as she walks, leaving them there over winter. In the spring, the nymphs hatch and grow to mature lengths in a few months. Timemas are wingless and cannot fly. They move more slowly than the longer, thinner Walkingsticks.
The California Timema feeds on plants in the Southwest region of the U.S. as well as Mexico. They resemble sticks or branches of plants. This mimicry helps them avoid predators. When disturbed or threatened, they are known to produce a distinct, fruity-type odor. A Timema can be distinguished from all other walking sticks by the presence of only three segments to each leg as opposed to five. Look for them on trees or shrubs in chaparral or at the foothills of mountains. They eat from a variety of plants ranging from trees to flowers.