Prairie Walkingstick (Diapheromera velii)
Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Prairie Walkingstick.
Updated: 1/24/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The grasses and plants found in sprawling prairies are a familiar and welcome food source for the Prairie Walkingstick.
Prairie Walkingsticks vary in color and size. Females are more green and long, while males are more brown and short. Neither sex can fly and their legs are not built for jumping, though they can drop themselves to the ground as a defensive maneuver. They may also produce chemicals that taste bad to predators. Add in perfect camouflage and they seem to amply compensate for their immobility.
Prairie Walkingsticks are herbivores, nibbling on the leaves of shrubs and plants for nutrition. They prefer native plants like Big Bluestem and other prairie staples. They may remain still all day and slowly graze at night. Females lay fertilized eggs as they feed. These eggs overwinter and hatch in the spring.