Photo by Melody

Common Walkingstick (Diapheromera femorata)

Order: Phasmatodea
Family: Heteronemiidae
Genus: Diapheromera
Species: femorata (fem-or-AY-ta) (Info)


7 positives
2 neutrals
1 negative


This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Hanceville, Alabama
Barling, Arkansas
Fayetteville, Arkansas
Harrisburg, Arkansas
Brandon, Florida
Molino, Florida
Bainbridge, Georgia
Tifton, Georgia
Chicago, Illinois
Yale, Iowa
Hebron, Kentucky
Melbourne, Kentucky
Shreveport, Louisiana
Oakland, Maryland
Pasadena, Maryland
Holden, Massachusetts
Gladwin, Michigan
Hersey, Michigan
Milford, Michigan
Paris, Michigan
Saint Robert, Missouri
Toms River, New Jersey
Delanson, New York
Kerhonkson, New York
Bucyrus, Ohio
Cincinnati, Ohio
Corning, Ohio
Emmaus, Pennsylvania
Mount Pleasant, Tennessee
Boerne, Texas
Bryan, Texas
Lufkin, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Chesapeake, Virginia
Woodbridge, Virginia
Yellow Spring, West Virginia
Augusta, Wisconsin

By MaryinLa
Thumbnail #1 of Common Walkingstick (Diapheromera femorata) by MaryinLa

By crockny

Thumbnail #2 of Common Walkingstick (Diapheromera femorata) by crockny

By TxTurqoize

Thumbnail #3 of Common Walkingstick (Diapheromera femorata) by TxTurqoize

By dave

Thumbnail #4 of Common Walkingstick (Diapheromera femorata) by dave

By dave

Thumbnail #5 of Common Walkingstick (Diapheromera femorata) by dave

By dave

Thumbnail #6 of Common Walkingstick (Diapheromera femorata) by dave

By exorr

Thumbnail #7 of Common Walkingstick (Diapheromera femorata) by exorr

There are a total of 15 photos.
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Member Notes:

Neutral foodog On Aug 19, 2006, foodog from Toms River, NJ wrote:

I find these facinating insects in my yard every summer. I was curious as to what they eat and their behavior in general. They like to hang out on the outside walls of the house and on my car. I always gently remove them if I need to drive the car. Just curious. Thanks.

Best Regards,


Positive TxTurqoize On Aug 25, 2006, TxTurqoize from San Antonio, TX
(Zone 8b) wrote:

I find these creatures to be so fascinating! Here in Texas....they get very very large....the one that I photographed is, I believe a young one....I've seen adults much larger. :)

Positive DiOhio On Feb 7, 2008, DiOhio from Corning, OH
(Zone 6a) wrote:

Also known as Northern Walkingstick.
They eat foliage of deciduous trees and shrubs, especially oaks and hazelnuts.
Nymphs are green.
Adult males are brown and females are greenish-brown.
They are wingless.
They can regenerate lost legs.
Females drop eggs singly. Eggs overwinter among ground litter and hatch in spring, when nymphs push open domelike ends of the eggs. Nymphs crawl up woody vegetation at night to reach edible foliage.
Males are about 3" long and females 3 3/4" long.

Positive xaia On Feb 23, 2008, xaia from Kitchener
Canada wrote:

I live in Ontario, Canada and I've seen this insect in some of the oak savannah's along the south of the province. They are extremely well adapted to an arboreal life, and their camouflage is completely outstanding. Pinery Provincial Park is where I first saw them. They are everywhere in the oak savannah's! Their diet consists of such plants as oak, black cherry, fragrant sumac, and in their instar stages red clover, and rose. I happened by a female Diapheromera femorata and brought her home and fixed a terrarium up for her. Housing stick insects is easy so long as they have vertical height to climb. Give them fresh sprigs of one of their food plants, and spray them daily. They will drink the water droplets off the glass and screen top. the female I had actually laid eggs that I'm anticipating to see hatch this spring! Who knows I may have just created myself a hobby!

Positive hollys_hints On Sep 15, 2008, hollys_hints from Hersey, MI
(Zone 5a) wrote:

On Sept. 5, 2008 I was doing my daily walk thru my gardens to deadhead and get some flowers to bring in the house & as I was trimming spent blooms off my white Blue River Hibiscus - I saw something I have not ever seen in person (face to face)……..

…………..a real live walking stick!! What a fun surprise. They DOOOO exist and in northern Michigan, how about that.

Of course, I had to go in the house & get my camera - had to document this, you know. Thankfully it was still there when I got back to the Hibiscus. It did not seem to be in any hurry to go anywhere. With a little prodding, I was able to get it to pose for the camera.

It definitely looks like a walking stick. I googled ‘walking stick’ & Wikipedia states that there are 3,000 different walking sticks in all different shapes and sizes all over the world.

Negative csuziwin On Apr 21, 2009, csuziwin from Shreveport, LA wrote:

we could not figure out what was eating our azaleas. my husband went out at night with a flashlight, and lo and behold they were covered with 2 striped walking sticks. we killed them with an insecticide immediately, and the azaleas recovered. they had almost been completely stripped of leaves.

Positive luciee On Feb 15, 2010, luciee from Hanceville, AL
(Zone 7a) wrote:

we love walking sticks. this summer I will get to teach my 5 yr. old grandson about them. I was under the impression that they were praying mantises and kept the bug population under control. I looked them up and while they are somewhat kin, they are not mantises. Mantises eat bugs and walking sticks eat herbs.

Positive Capnover On Jun 26, 2010, Capnover from Brandon, FL wrote:

I live in Brandon, FL. This morning I found a 3" long green walking stick on the screen door of our lanai. They are indeed a very strange looking critter, so I took several photos of it to add to my "collection". I will upload shortly the pick of the litter.

Positive shewhoplants On Jul 5, 2010, shewhoplants from Tifton, GA
(Zone 8b) wrote:

Such an interesting bug. I love watching them as they turn their heads when watching you. We don't see them as often as we once did,here in Tifton, Ga. I think the insectsides used in growing crops is why. It's sad. Even th lightening bug numbers have dropped.

Neutral themikesmom On Sep 18, 2011, themikesmom wrote:

back in the 1980's my son found a large brown male walkingstick in upstate new york that was almost 11 inches long. we had a hard time finding a jar large enough for him to temporarily put it in. I can say that it had some very very aggressive movements and defense type mechanisms. They do not have stingers but the male has spines on the lower back end part of his body and if he can curl his abdomen up to grab you after he gets done making his rediculous defensive rocking type threatening jestures which the female also exhibits when scared although she can not stab you, or if you grab him to pick him up when hes feeling threatened or irratated with your hand, my son can atest that getting stabbed and pinched with these 'spines' is quite painful. So even though this is a fascinating appearing and neat creature I would advise extreme caution and respect when handling walking sticks especially the large brown male walking sticks.

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