Sunday, September 30, 2012

Dancing Stick

The species I find in the county never cease to amaze me.  This delightful stick insect, for example, takes a discerning eye to pick out in the forest.

"My dream in life is....TO DANCE!"

But not really. This guy found me when he started to crawl on a friend during a recent potluck. It's a Northern Walkingstick, Diapheromera femorata, the continent's most common walkingstick. It's about three inches long, but looks bigger because of how long its legs are. 

Its limbs are leafy green and its body looks like it's been sculpted straight from a tree, giving it some terrific camouflage. I've been observing it in an insect cage for the last few days and it truly is a remarkable insect. Walkingsticks are the world's best method actors, taking their role as a stick very seriously. 

...which is a good strategy, as birds are liable to pick these guys right off the plants they're feeding on. 

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