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*** Note: KnowYourInsects.org does its best to include correct identifications of insect photos. It's always possible that we made a mistake, however, so if you see a misidentification, please contact us and we will correct it. Thanks!

Order Phasmida: the stick insects (or walkingsticks) and leaf insects — Examples

Families represented below:
Diapheromeridae (the diapheromerid stick insects)
Phasmatidae (the phasmatid stick insects)
Pseudophasmatidae (the striped walkingsticks)

Phasmatidae, the phasmatid stick insects

Titan Stick Insect (Acrophylla titan)
Titan stick insect, Acrophylla titan, family Phasmatidae (the stick insects).
□ The female titan stick insect can grow to be 10 inches (25 cm) long. While the female cannot fly, the smaller males of this species are capable of flight.
Photographed and identified by: Peter Rowell. Location: northern New South Wales, Australia. Date: 15 January, 2017.
Peter described this insect as “a rather large stick insect about 30cm long.” Yes, that qualifies as rather large, Peter!
Titan Stick Insect (Acrophylla titan)
Titan stick insect, Acrophylla titan, family Phasmatidae (the stick insects).
□ This is the same titan stick insect as shown in the previous photo. Although they are so large in size, few people notice them because the insects remain in the trees and look so much like twigs. They will will even sway their bodies slowly back and forth to mimic a breeze in the branches.
Photographed and identified by: Peter Rowell. Location: northern New South Wales, Australia. Date: 15 January 2017.
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Pseudophasmatidae, the striped walkingsticks

Ututo Stick Insect (Monticomorpha spp.)
Ututo stick insect in the genus Monticomorpha, family Pseudophasmatidae.
□ This ututo stick insect will sometimes curl the end of its abdomen so it looks rather like a scorpion. It has a long thorax, which allows its legs to be spread quite far apart. Other features include the long antennae, very thin body, and small black cerci (the pincer-looking appendages at the rear end).
Photographed by: Lino Ramirez. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Cuenca, Ecuador. Date: 19 June, 2020.
Lino says, “This little fellow, about 2" (5 cm) in length, was walking around in my kitchen looking ferocious and scary.” Rather than killing it, Lino decided to learn more about it. Yahoo, Lino!
Devil Riders or Southern Two-Striped Walkingsticks (Anisomorpha buprestoides)
Devil riders, also known as southern two-striped walkingsticks, Anisomorpha buprestoides, family Pseudophasmatidae (the striped walkingsticks).
Photographed and identified as walkingsticks by: Mechele Harrington. Identified to species by: Thies Büscher, Zoological Institute, Kiel University in Germany.. Thank you, Dr. Büscher! Location: Beach City, Texas, USA. Date: 18 August, 2017.
Devil Riders or Southern Two-Striped Walkingsticks (Anisomorpha buprestoides)
Devil riders, also known as southern two-striped walkingsticks, Anisomorpha buprestoides, family Pseudophasmatidae (the striped walkingsticks).
□ This is a great shot of the antennae, which are more than half as long as the body.
Photographed and identified as walkingsticks by: Mechele Harrington. Identified to species by: Thies Büscher, Zoological Institute, Kiel University in Germany. Thank you, Dr. Büscher! Location: Beach City, Texas, USA. Date: 18 August, 2017.
Devil Riders or Southern Two-Striped Walkingsticks (Anisomorpha buprestoides)
Devil riders, also known as southern two-striped walkingsticks, Anisomorpha buprestoides, family Pseudophasmatidae (the striped walkingsticks).
□ This female Devil Rider has a series of very noticeable spotted bands around her body.
Photographed and identified by: Tia LeBrun. Location: Lafayette, Louisiana, USA. Date: 24 June, 2019.
Tia found a mating pair, but the two separated (the male remained nearby). She says, “I disturbed the happy couple, but was able to snap a pic.”
Devil Riders or Southern Two-Striped Walkingsticks (Anisomorpha buprestoides)
Devil riders, also known as southern two-striped walkingsticks, Anisomorpha buprestoides, family Pseudophasmatidae.
Photographed by: Logan Bush. Identified to species by: Thies Büscher. Thank you, Dr. Büscher! Location: northwestern Florida, USA. Date: 5 September, 2017.
Logan says, “It is about 3–4 inches long (7.6–10.2 cm).
Devil Riders or Southern Two-Striped Walkingsticks (Anisomorpha buprestoides)
Devil riders, also known as southern two-striped walkingsticks, Anisomorpha buprestoides, family Pseudophasmatidae.
□ As with other species of walkingsticks, the female of this species of devil rider is much larger than the male.
Photographed and identified as walkingsticks by: Mechele Harrington. Identified to species by: Thies Büscher, Zoological Institute, Kiel University in Germany. Thank you, Dr. Büscher! Location: Beach City, Texas, USA. Date: 18 August, 2017.
Devil Riders or Southern Two-Striped Walkingsticks (Anisomorpha buprestoides)
Devil riders, also known as southern two-striped walkingsticks, mating pair, Anisomorpha buprestoides, family Pseudophasmatidae (the striped walkingsticks).
Devil riders defend themselves by squirting a bad-smelling, thick, white, fluid, and the squirt can go up to 10 inches (40 cm). They have two fluid-making glands within the thorax, and release it through a pair of pores just behind the head.
Photographed and identified to order by: Jaynee Burke. Identified to species by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Bastrop, Louisiana, USA. Date: 11 September, 2020.
Devil Riders or Southern Two-Striped Walkingsticks (Anisomorpha buprestoides)
Devil riders, also known as southern two-striped walkingsticks, Anisomorpha buprestoides, family Pseudophasmatidae.
Devil riders are sometimes known as musk mares. This refers to the pungent musky fluid that they can squirt from their bodies. This fluid is irritating and painful when it comes in contact with the eyes, the mouth and other mucous membranes.
Photographed and identified by: Maryle Barbé. Location: Bonita Springs, Florida, USA. Date: 28 November, 2013.
Devil Riders or Southern Two-Striped Walkingsticks (Anisomorpha buprestoides)
Devil riders, also known as southern two-striped walkingsticks, Anisomorpha buprestoides, family Pseudophasmatidae (the striped walkingsticks).
□ This mating pair of devil riders was spotted in Texas. The characteristic longitudinal striping is especially evident in the smaller male. In Florida, where they are also found, they are sometimes called prairie alligators.
Photographed and identified to order by: Vanessa Palafox. Location: Houston, Texas, USA. Date: 19 June, 2020.
Devil Rider or Northern Two-Striped Walkingsticks (Anisomorpha ferruginea)
Devil riders, also known as northern two-striped walkingsticks, Anisomorpha ferruginea, family Pseudophasmatidae (the striped walkingsticks).
□ Look closely! This is actually a mating pair of devil riders. A small male is on top of the much larger female.
□ The species name of ferruginea means the color of iron rust (ferrum means iron, and ferrous means containing iron).
Photographed and identified by: Kelly Ray. Location: Tyler, Texas, USA. Date: 22 June, 2017.
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Diapheromeridae, the diapheromerid stick insects

Giant Walkingstick (Megaphasma denticrus)
Giant walkingstick, Megaphasma denticrus, family Diapheromeridae (the diapheromerid stick insects).
□ The giant walkingstick takes the prize as the longest insect in the United States. It can get to be 7 inches long (18 cm)! The walkingstick in the photo at left was relaxing on a door, and the walkingstick at right was making itself at home on a pepper plant.
Photographed and identified by: Manzeal Khanal. Location: Texas A&M Agrilife Research Center, Uvalde, Texas, USA. Date: 23 August, 2017 (left), and 30 October, 2018 (right). Manzeal says, “they were longer than my palm.”2017.
Northern Walkingstick (Diapheromera femorata)
Northern walkingstick, also known as common walkingstick, juvenile, Diapheromera femorata, family Diapheromeridae (the diapheromerid stick insects).
□ This northern walkingstick is holding its front pair of legs straight foreward from the head (to the left in this photo), so the legs look almost like long antennae. The juveniles of this species are green (as shown), and the adults are brown. Most people never see them because they like to stay up in trees, especially in cherry, oak, and American elm. This is a wingless species. Note: It is sometimes erroneously listed as being a member of the family Heteronemiidae.
Photographed by: Rhonda Baxter. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org Location: Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA. Date: August, 2015.
Northern Walkingstick (Diapheromera femorata)
Northern walkingstick, also known as common walkingstick, female, Diapheromera femorata, family Diapheromeridae (the diapheromerid stick insects).
□ The female northern walkingstick (shown here) can be distinguished from the male by looking at the back end of the abdomen. The male has a pair of noticeable curved claspers (cerci); the females do not. Females also usually have a slightly thicker abdomen that tapers toward the rear, whereas a male’s abdomen is skinny all the way back.
Photographed and identified to order by: Bill P. Identified by: KnowYourInsects.org. Location: Monroe County, Ohio, USA. Date: 5 August, 2016.
Bill estimated that this Walkingstick was about 4 inches long.
Northern Walkingstick (Diapheromera femorata)
Northern walkingstick, also known as common walkingstick, Diapheromera femorata, family Diapheromeridae (the diapheromerid stick insects).
□ The photographer of this northern walkingstick estimated that it was about 4 inches (10 cm) long.
Photographed and identified by: David Osadjan. Location: Rockford, Illinois, USA. Date: fall 2018.
David says, “I saw this friendly Walking Stick crawling around a waste oil drum at work last fall.
Stick Insect in the Diapheromerini tribe
Stick insect in the Diapheromerini tribe, possibly in one of of the genera Bacteria, Bostra or Calynda, family Diapheromeridae (the diapheromerid stick insects).
□ This huge stick insect is sitting on a 5-gallon bucket! (See the photographer’s note below about this critter she found in Central America.) The identifier, Dr. Thies Büscher, noted that this tribe is “quite poorly investigated, especially in this area.”
Photographed by: Denise Frank. Identified by: Thies Büscher, Zoological Institute, Kiel University in Germany. Thank you, Dr. Büscher! Location: Punta Gorda, Belize. Date: 2009.
Denise says, “I lived in a small thatch building and it was on a 5-gallon bucket inside my hut.”
Phasmid Egg Casings
Egg casings of a stick insect in the genus Trachythorax, subfamily Necrosciinae, family Diapheromeridae (the diapheromerid stick insects).
□ A mystery solved! The photographer suspected this intricate structure (2-3 cm or about an inch long) was a cluster of insect eggs. Expert Thies Büscher of the Zoological Institute at Kiel University in Germany confirmed that it was indeed eggs, and suspected they may be from a species in the subfamily Necrosciinae. A few months later, the photographer happened upon a photo of a stick insect in the genus Trachythorax with eggs that look just like the ones in his photo.
Photographed and identified as walking stick eggs by: Vandan Jhaveri, Varad Giri, Rahul Khot and “few Facebook groups.” Identified to subfamily by: Thies Büscher. Thank you, Dr. Büscher! Identified to genus by a Facebook post by Varad Giri, which Vandan spotted. A team effort! Location: Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary, Maharashtra, India. Date: 12 January, 2018.
Phasmid Egg Casings
Egg casings of a Diapheromerid stick insect, possibly in the subfamily Necrosciinae, family Diapheromeridae (the diapheromerid stick insects).
□ The photographer of the previous photo ventured out again, found additional egg casings of this stick insect, and took this close-up photo.
Photographed and identified as walking stick eggs by: Vandan Jhaveri. Location: Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Mumbai, India. Date: 18 February, 2018.
Vandan says he later found another one, however each egg’s operculum (or cap) was already opened, so “all must have hatched.” Vandan points out that the eggs unfurl like flower petals and believes they do so soon after the eggs are being laid.
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Photos at the top of this website are (from left to right): potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) — photo credit: Scott Bauer, U.S. Department of Agriculture; ebony jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata)— photo credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; sweat bee (Agapostemon splendens) — photo credit: Natalie Allen and Stephanie Kolski, U.S. Geological Survey; preying mantis, monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus), hellgrammite (aka toe biter) larva and eyed click beetle (Alaus oculatus) — photo credit: Leslie Mertz; Halloween pennant (Celithemis eponina) — photo credit: Kay Meng, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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