Photo by Melody

Two-Striped Walkingstick, Palmetto Walkingstick, Devil Rider, Musk Mare (Anisomorpha buprestoides)

Order: Phasmatodea
Family: Pseudophasmatidae
Genus: Anisomorpha
Species: buprestoides


1 positive
1 neutral
5 negatives


This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Orange Beach, Alabama
Big Pine Key, Florida
Lakeland, Florida
Merritt Island, Florida
Oldsmar, Florida
Palm Bay, Florida
Umatilla, Florida
Bossier City, Louisiana
Kenner, Louisiana
Lafayette, Louisiana
Sulphur, Louisiana
Okatie, South Carolina
Austin, Texas
Baytown, Texas
Conroe, Texas
Galveston, Texas
Port Arthur, Texas
Wharton, Texas

By Floridian
Thumbnail #1 of Two-Striped Walkingstick, Palmetto Walkingstick, Devil Rider, Musk Mare (Anisomorpha buprestoides) by Floridian

By Kaysea10

Thumbnail #2 of Two-Striped Walkingstick, Palmetto Walkingstick, Devil Rider, Musk Mare (Anisomorpha buprestoides) by Kaysea10

By notgnostic

Thumbnail #3 of Two-Striped Walkingstick, Palmetto Walkingstick, Devil Rider, Musk Mare (Anisomorpha buprestoides) by notgnostic

By ormond

By SafetyO

Thumbnail #5 of Two-Striped Walkingstick, Palmetto Walkingstick, Devil Rider, Musk Mare (Anisomorpha buprestoides) by SafetyO

By trackinsand

Thumbnail #6 of Two-Striped Walkingstick, Palmetto Walkingstick, Devil Rider, Musk Mare (Anisomorpha buprestoides) by trackinsand

Member Notes:

Neutral nauticalstar On May 2, 2007, nauticalstar from Port St. John, FL wrote:

For those who have small children, or fear no bugs please read this!! These walking sticks will shoot a white substance from their bodies for defense. They can aim up to 1 ft with accuracy.
****Medical Importance***
The first account of its effect on humans that could be located was by Stewart (1937), who wrote about an incident in Texas: "The victim was observing a pair of Anisomorpha buprestoides . . . with his face within two feet of the insects, when he received the discharge in his left eye. . . The pain in his left eye was immediately excruciating; being reported to be as severe as if it had been caused by molten lead. Quick, thorough drenching with cool water allayed the burning agony to a dull aching pain. The pain eased considerably within the course of a few hours. Upon awakening the next morning the entire cornea was almost a brilliant scarlet in color and the eye was so sensitive to light and pressure for the next forty-eight hours that the patient was incapacitated for work. Vision was impaired for about five days." Symptoms gradually disappeared and there were no lasting effects. Albert (1947) described a similar but less severe incident.
Recent accounts (Dziedzyc 1992, Hatch et al. 1993, Paysse et al. 2001) report incidents with essentially similar symptoms, the first and most severe involving a dog. In that case, the dog suffered an ulcerated cornea, although the damage could have been self-inflicted after the encounter with the stick insect (Dziedzyc 1992). The recommended treatment includes immediate irrigation of the eye with large amounts of water, followed by administration of over-the-counter analgesics if needed for pain. Medical attention should be sought if more severe symptoms, such as decreased vision or light sensitivity, are present.

Here is a link to my source for this bug

Negative mizar5 On Oct 6, 2007, mizar5 from Merritt Island, FL
(Zone 9b) wrote:

(Note, my "negative" is about the BUG!)

I had one of these shoot that stuff at me. I was bending down working in the yard and didn't see there were tons of them on the leaves of a palmetto scrub. All hooked up together, if you get my drift. Tons of them.

Next thing I knew, I had a horrible taste in my mouth. I'd been breathing hard and my mouth had been open and the stuff went right in! I must have had my face down near them and didn't realize it until too late.

Needless to say, I started spitting as fast as I could and was very careful not to swallow the horrible tasting whatever-it-is. I ran to the kitchen and flushed my mouth out with water for a good 10 minutes; the taste was that awful and took that long to get rid of.

Later I looked up this bug and found out that stuff they spit can blind people and pets, as described above. Lucky for me, I was wearing sunglasses and the poison only went into my mouth. I suffered no ill effects, but who knows what could have happened had I not acted quickly and been so lucky.

So YES, I am proof that these things are capable of spitting at you at least a few feet and be sure to watch out or at least wear eye protection if you're out in the yard where these things are.

I killed all of the ones in the palmetto scrub plant that day, but since (about a year now) I have seen ONE by itself here and there. Not hordes of them like they were that day ("mating"?).

Negative SafetyO On Jul 6, 2009, SafetyO from Lafayette, LA wrote:

Location: Lafayette, LA. July 2009.

Although I've seen these bugs before over several years, it's been very long in between sightings and is rare that we encounter them. I saw a mating pair, at night, on my front porch on July 2nd. I left them alone. I have oleanders and monkey grass, so there is lots of ground cover to hide in near the front porch. On the 4th of July, our Maltese stuck his face near what we believe was a Two-Striped Walkingsitck on the back patio. It was dark and the event was captured on security camera, but you can't see exactly what the insect was, only the dog's reaction. We did see a large 3 to 4 inch long slim dark object scurry away under the fence board when it actually happened. We reviewed the security tape in hopes we'd see more.

The dog's eye was swollen shut within minutes and we washed it with warm water. We took him to the vet on Sunday morning and he was diagnosed with an ulcerated cornea. He was given pain salve and antibiotic salve. Poor guy.

The negative is for this insects ability to spray. Although I didn't mind them up until this happened, I will step on the next one I see on my property. I didn't know they could do that. Sorry if that offends anyone, but that's the only control I can think of.

Negative fwfw1 On Sep 7, 2009, fwfw1 from Orange Beach, AL wrote:

I had a neighbor's dog sprayed by one in the eye and it suffered terribly. As it was on the weekend, the emergency vet bill was something else too. I had been unaware of this aspect of this insect until this event and now it seems we have them growing in some adjacent oleanders, rose and palm plants on our driveway. I will eliminate everyone I come across as I have two small and curious dogs to protect. I thought they were perfectly safe until this happened
and really didn't believe it to be true when I first heard it. Oh, well.

Negative Dianas_Dirt On Sep 30, 2009, Dianas_Dirt from Kenner, LA wrote:

Oh my, I didn't know that they shoot out a chemical that can do that. It seems that they are very accurate. I found 4 or 5 of them (like a family) different sizes. They freaked me out and I killed them. I didn't know what they do at the time and I usually don't have that reaction to insects or "bugs" but that one set off all of my internal alarms. Happy I listened to them. Diana in Louisiana.

Positive twopuppies On Sep 22, 2010, twopuppies from Chester, IL wrote:

Wehave a smaller similar species in our area-
they smell bad but are not as dangerous to
pester as yours are- in a jar they die if they spray
so they are not immune to t he stuff!

Negative trackinsand On Oct 6, 2011, trackinsand from mid central, FL
(Zone 9a) wrote:

this has been a particularly bad late summer for these walking sticks. it seems like they are always hanging out eye-level on the house so i spray and kill every one i see. i use liquid castile soap and water and soak each one from a spray bottle. it kills them within a minute.
if they didn't have the potential to cause such eye harm to me and my dogs, i would certainly leave them alone but having five or six every night around the house outside is just too much to deal with.

We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2015 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.

Hope for America