Stick Insect!

The Stick Insect

Had a fun encounter this weekend with an insect I’ve only seen in my life a couple of times before - not because they are rare, but because they are so hard to see.

My 20 month old son Carl actually spotted the stick insect first - I knew he’d found something, because he was giggling. The notion of a stick that “came alive” fascinated him, so I caught the insect for his amusement:

Here’s a closeup:

And here it is in its natural habitat:

An amazing creature. Any budding entomologists wanna tell me what species this is? It was found just north of lake Simcoe in southern Ontario …

We have them all over the place at our house. They can be found in the trees, on the house, wherever. I think they’re one of the coolest bugs around.

We’ve always refered to them as “walking sticks” and here’s a link that refers to them as Phasmatodea…

Hope this helps!


I’ve heard them called “walking sticks” too, though here I think the popular name “stick insect” is slightly more common.

They aren’t as common as all that up here (or at least, I’ve only rarely seen them …)

These days, they prefer to be known as “insects of stickness.”

I haven’t seen a walking stick in years and years. I saw them regularly in my youth. (of course, I no longer go out and play in the woods like I used to.)

Pretty cool.


“I’m more than just my resemblance to a twig!”

I wonder if younger eyes are just better at spotting 'em. My 20 month old found this one, I’ve not seen one in years - since I was a kid.

That was my first thought, verbatim, when reading the OP.

You should see them when they’re fully grown “log insects.” Nothing like sitting on a dead log and having it rise up and walk off on 4’ legs.

Usually have snipes hiding under them, too.

Diapheromera femorata, the Northern Walking Stick. I think it’s the only one that makes it into Canada.

Thanks! I can now say “my toddler found a full-grown Diapheromera femorata when out in the woods.” :wink:

I agree with the site that its cameoflage is damn near perfect!

Watch it.
According to** Pan’s Labyrinth**, they’re actually fairies…

I’m reminded of a snarky thing Mrs. Fawlty said to Basil once on Fawlty Towers. She called him “sort of an aging brilliantine stick insect.” I’ve never seen John Cleese since without thinking of this fitting description.

My Grandma told me that lightening bugs were fairies - and if I were good enough they would come to me and grant me a wish.

I was never quite good enough…


Maybe they ARE faeries and only become visible when you and Carl wear matching shirts!


Bug schmug - I’m charmed to bits by his little hand resting on your wrist. Sweet.

I was wondering when someone would notice that. :smiley:

Believe it or not, that was unplanned. Carl’s shirt was a purchase that day by Carl’s grandma, before she saw what I was wearing.

Carl’s a cutie at this age. Everything he does, aside from throwing a tantrum, is super-cute. Even the tantrum is sort of cute. :wink:

Here he is, playing with a hose and covered in sunscreen. Who could resist that smile? :smiley:

And here he is, investigating a different bug - a monarch butterfly caterpiller. So seriously!

Sorry I thought this was another thread about Keira Knightly

If you want to know all about stick insects, but aren’t bothered by the facts or anything, go here.