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Monday, August 23, 2010

Walking Stick

walking stick

Can you find the insect in this picture? Of course, the title of the post will help you a lot if you know what this is.

walking stick

Does this help? I haven't seen one of these wondrous insects for quite a few years. It's about 3 inches long, not counting the long antennae. They belong to the order Phasmatodea, although the taxonomy keeps changing.

walking stick

They don't bite, and in fact, I picked this one up to move it to the cooler to show it off better. The picture on the tree was actually taken last as I returned it there. One of the volunteers found it crawling up his shirt initially. He didn't know how it got there.

walking stick

As you can guess, its defense mechanism is to look like a stick. Here it sits up and poses. If it were on a tree limb while doing this it would be nearly invisible... looking just like a stick.


RNSANE said...

I've never seen a walking stick
( other than the one that helps me get around! ). It is so interesting! Do they eat other insects?

cardiogirl said...

Aww yeah! I found it without catching the title of the post! Yay for me.

I have never run across one of those in my life and I know I would have heart failure if I did, thinking it was a stick and then watching it hop, run, waddle, etc. away.

jeanlivingsimple said...

Your title did help me find it on the tree. I haven't seen one in years. They are such cool insects to observe.

Secondary Roads said...

It's been years since I've seen one. I had no trouble spotting him on the tree.

rainfield61 said...

It hides itself very well in the woods.

The Retired One said...

So cool! I wonder if other bugs land on it, thinking it is a stick?

wiseacre said...

Nice catch, I haven't seen one of those in years.

been a while, grats on finishing the long walk.

Did you know a wiseacre's best defense mechanism is looking like an idiot in the woods?

Ann said...

When I read your title I thought you were going to show one of those fancy, intricately carved sticks that aid you in walking. I was not thinking bug at all....lol
I have seen those before but it was a very long time ago.

spinninglovelydays said...

Good to know it doesn't bite. Anyway, it does a great job of looking like a twig. :)

Sharkbytes said...

Hi Carmen- they only eat vegetation. They actually make very good insect pets because they are so easy to care for.

Hi cardiogirl! They just walk, no hopping. Of course with those long legs, they can walk kinda fast.

Jean- I am trying to remember when I last saw one... at least 10 years ago. I probably haven't been looking hard enough. I tend to take insects as they come, and search out the plants.

Chuck- I doubt that he (she?) would have chosen to sit on that big tree. But I thought if I put it there it could get to somewhere it would like better than leaving it on the cooler.

rainfield- it sure does!

Joan- Now that is a really good question! I have no idea.

Hi John- well, ok... but you are one of the most knowledgeable idiots I know.

Ann- I wonder if we looked harder for bugs when we were kids.

Ivy- they only have chewing mouthparts... can't bite if they want to.

Julia said...

OH my kids would LOVE to see one of those in person. It's wonderful.

Congrats on your award too! Good work!

The Oceanside Animals said...

"Nobody here but us twigs ..."

Sharkbytes said...

Julia- They supposedly are found all over the world... lots of different species, but they look a lot alike.

Dennis- Now if you can disguise yourself as a twig, I'll be really impressed.

Rick (Ratty) said...

I love walking sticks! I saw one once when I was a kid. Nothing ever since then until yours. I always wanted to see another one, even a picture, but I never thought to do a search or anything like that.

Sharkbytes said...

Ratty- I think they are just very elusive. Nothing I read when I was trying to look this one up indicated that they are threatened.