Northern Walking Sticks (Diapheromera fermorata)

Because of their great camouflage, Northern Walking Sticks are one of the most overlooked animals at the
Zoo, even though they are in plain sight. Due to their color, shape and textured camouflage, children often spot these insects before their parents can. You can find Northern Walking Sticks on exhibit in the New England Farmyard, around Zoo grounds, and on exhibit in Professor Beardsley's Research Station when it is open.

Description: 

This bug looks very much like a forest stick or twig, ranging in size from less than Ā½ an inch at hatching to 3 or 4 inches long. They have six legs, of which the front legs are often mistaken for two long antennae. Their body and legs are all made to resemble a tree branch so they can blend in and be well camouflaged within the tree branches.

Habitat: 

Woodlands.

Range: 

Southeastern Canada, extending through New England, the mid Atlantic and Midwestern states.

Diet: 

Feeds in the forest canopy on the leaves of oak, maple, and sassafras trees as well as raspberry and black cherry leaves.

Family Life: 

A female can lay over 100 eggs scattered on the forest floor.

Status: 

Common but hard to find due to their excellent camouflage.