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Prairie Walkingstick (Diapheromera velii)


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



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Image Credit: Arch Baker
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Image Credit: Arch Baker
Full-sized image #2 of the Prairie-Walkingstick Thumbnail image #2 of the Prairie-Walkingstick

The grasses and plants found in sprawling prairies are a familiar and welcome food source for the Prairie Walkingstick.



Updated: 08/23/2019; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
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. Combine these strategies with near-perfect camouflage and Prairie Walkingsticks seem to amply compensate for their reduced mobility. This is a slow-moving insect, tempting observers to pick it up, but it has delicate legs that can break easily so it is safer for the Walkingstick if people look with their eyes, not with their hands.

Prairie Walkingsticks are herbivores, nibbling on the leaves of shrubs and plants for nutrition. They prefer native plants like Big Bluestem, Switchgrass, 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.




General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Embioptera
        Family: Diapheromeridae
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          Genus: Diapheromera
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            Species: velii
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Diapheromera velii
Category: Walkingstick or Timema
Size (Adult; Length): 40mm to 85mm (1.57" to 3.34")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown, green
Descriptors: slow, twig
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 40mm (1.6in) and 85mm (3.3in)
Lo: 40mm
Md: 62.5mm
Hi: 85mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
State of Alabama graphic
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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
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State of South Carolina graphic
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State of Virginia graphic
State of Washington graphic
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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
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Prairie 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 Prairie Walkingstick. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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