Insect Identification logo
Icon of a spider
Icon of a beetle insect
Icon of a butterfly
Icon of a bee
Icon of the Bugfinder utility

Giant Walkingstick (Megaphasma denticrus)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Giant Walkingstick.

 Updated: 1/17/2014; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




Walkingsticks are proven masters of camouflage, which is necessary for this slow, wingless walker.



The Giant Walkingstick is the largest of all North American Walkingsticks. Walkingsticks, in general, have bodies that resemble the shape, and usually the color, of sticks, twigs or branches from a tree. This adaptation is a form of camouflage that allows the Walkingstick to avoid predators. The Giant Walkingstick is the largest Walkingstick species in North America, measuring anywhere between 75mm and 150mm. Their camouflage is so good that one can often miss these creatures in the wild.

Identifying features include a body of red and/or brown and in some cases a shade of green in color. Colors will seem to become lighter near the legs. These insects are generally found throughout the Midwest areas and feed within forests and grasslands on various greenery.

With only about one generation produced a year, Giant Walkingsticks stay active in the later hours of the day where their movement may not be so noticeable to predator and prey alike. They can be quite flashy and colorful or very muted and dull.

They are plant eaters, so they do not prey on insects themselves. They are slow walkers and can be delicate so they should not be handled or touched by humans. Almost all of them are wingless (except for one species in Florida) so they cannot fly. Their legs do not allow them to jump, either. Stealth and concealment are their only forms of defense. If disturbed, they may fall to the ground and remain motionless until the threat has passed.

The adults nibble on leafs of plants such as oak trees, grapevines and tall grasses. Active feeding usually occurs under the cover of night. This aids in making them difficult to prey on.

Females are generally larger and longer than males. In some species of Walkingstick, males ride on the backs of the females for most of their adult lives. Some types of Walkingstick females can reproduce asexually, where males are difficult to find.

Females lay eggs in foliage or on the ground, producing hundreds to perhaps thousands of eggs. Like its counterpart, the Northern Walkingstick, the Giant Walkingstick female will lay individual eggs over the winter in hidden areas on the ground such as dead or dying leaves and foliage. Hatchlings will push through their egg casings in about late spring, and then make their way upwards to edible greens.

Adult life spans range from a few weeks to a few months.




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Phasmatodea
        Family: Heteronemiidae
          Genus: Megaphasma
            Species: denticrus
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Megaphasma denticrus
Other Name(s): Walkingstick
Category: Walkingstick or Timema
Size (Adult; Length): 75mm to 180mm (2.93in to 7.02in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: yellow, red, green, black, brown, pink
Descriptors: long, stick, spiny, thin, harmless
Territorial Map
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
State of Alabama graphic
State of Arizona graphic
State of Arkansas graphic
State of California graphic
State of Colorado graphic
State of Delware graphic
State of Florida graphic
State of Georgia graphic
State of Idaho graphic
State of Illinois graphic
State of Indiana graphic
State of Iowa graphic
State of Kansas graphic
State of Kentucky graphic
State of Louisiana graphic
State of Maine graphic
State of Maryland graphic
State of Michigan graphic
State of Minnesota graphic
State of Mississippi graphic
State of Missouri graphic
State of Montana graphic
State of Nebraska graphic
State of Nevada graphic
State of New England graphic
State of New Jersey graphic
State of New Mexico graphic
State of New York graphic
State of North Carolina graphic
State of North Dakota graphic
State of Ohio graphic
State of Oklahoma graphic
State of Oregon graphic
State of Pennsylvania graphic
State of South Carolina graphic
State of South Dakota graphic
State of Tennessee graphic
State of Texas graphic
State of Utah graphic
State of Virginia graphic
State of Washington graphic
State of West Virginia graphic
State of Wisconsin graphic
State of Wyoming graphic
Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic


Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Canadian National Flag Graphic
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.