Friday, August 10, 2007

Friday Walkingstick

This pretty creature visited the porch the other day, and happily walked all over my hands. If only macro shots of my hands were more flattering I'd post one here. Instead, here it is walking on the edge of the arm of a Muskoka chair (called south of the 49th parallel an Adirondack chair).

Much more delicate than the brown Northern Walkingsticks (Diapheromera femorata) I posted about last year (Walking Stick Love), when I coaxed this one into some foliage in the front garden it disappeared into it, its colour and shape being such excellent camouflage. Not so much a walkingstick as a walking blade of new grass, or walking stem.

Based on this page at BugGuide, I think this is probably an immature Diapheromera femorata. Based on that and on the fact that there aren't very many species of walkingstick this far north, and this is the most common. Interesting the difference in colour between this and the adult form--suggests to me the possibility that diet changes as life progresses, taking the insect into different habitats.

I hope its cryptic colouration will keep it safe on the Friday Ark.

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