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Northern Walkingstick (Diapheromera femorata)

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

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Image Credit: Tim, taken in PA
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The fragile and gentle Northern Walkingstick is a harmless insect that is more often overlooked than discovered.

Updated: 02/03/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Northern Walkingsticks are a child's favorite type of bug. They are large and utterly unique in their chameleon-like physiology. The Northern Walkingstick resembles a small woody branch, an ideal disguise for avoiding predators hunting in the woods.

Northern Walkingsticks differ in size between the sexes. Males are usually smaller than females. Males usually have a more brown color whereas the female may appear to be a more greenish brown. Antennae are common on both sexes and are about two-thirds the size of the overall body. Northern Walkingstick females lay their eggs, one at a time, on the ground before winter. There, young nymphs will hatch and climb up nearby vegetation to feed.

This species is cannot fly and moves very slowly, making it a great insect to use for introducing children to the world of bugs. The body and legs can be fragile, so they require a calm, gentle handler that will not drop them. Walkingsticks are vegetarians, feeding on the deciduous foliage of local trees and shrubs.©InsectIdentification.org

Known Diet of the Northern-Walkingstick

oak; hazelnut; shrubs; trees
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General Characteristics

Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers

Taxonomic Hierarchy

Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Phasmatodea
        Family: Phasmidae
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          Genus: Diapheromera
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            Species: femorata

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Diapheromera femorata
Other Name(s): Walkingstick
Category: Walkingstick or Timema
Size (Adult; Length): 70mm to 95mm (2.75" to 3.74")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: green; brown
Descriptors: slow; stick; twig

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 70mm (2.8in) and 95mm (3.7in)
Lo: 70mm
Md: 82.5mm
Hi: 95mm

Territorial Map*

U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Northern Walkingstick may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Northern Walkingstick. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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