Northern Walkingstick

Photo of walkingsticks during outbreak
Scientific Name
Diapheromera femorata
Diapheromeridae, in the order Phasmida (sometimes Phasmatodea) (walkingsticks)

The northern walkingstick is Missouri's most common species of walkingstick. It is very slender, and the antennae are two-thirds the total body length. Males are brown; females are greenish brown and larger. The pincerlike circi at the tip of the abdomen are not segmented. Immatures are green.

Like other stick insects, the northern walkingstick eats leaves. It is perfectly camouflaged for a life in trees and shrubs. Walkingsticks not only look like twigs but also sway their bodies to mimic the motion of branches in a breeze. This species prefers the foliage of oaks and hazelnut. With Missouri’s many oak-hickory forests, it is no surprise it is common here.

Learn more about this and other walkingsticks on their group page.

Other Common Names
Common Walkingstick
Walking Stick

Adult length (not counting antennae or other appendages): 3 inches (males) to 3¾ inches (females)

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Similar Species
About Land Invertebrates in Missouri
Invertebrates are animals without backbones, including earthworms, slugs, snails, and arthropods. Arthropods—invertebrates with “jointed legs” — are a group of invertebrates that includes crayfish, shrimp, millipedes, centipedes, mites, spiders, and insects. There may be as many as 10 million species of insects alive on earth today, and they probably constitute more than 90 percent all animal species.