Sunday, July 27, 2008

Northern Walkingstick ~Diapheromera femorata~

From one of the better movies released over the past few years, remember the turning point of the movie and what it involved?

While hiking the Appalachian trail the other day I came upon a sign near the Humpback area parking lot and noticed the object above located near the arrow in the sign...

If you know the movie you know what this is...

Northern Walkingstick Diapheromera femorata

Stick insects of the order Phasmida (= Phasmatodea) are
intriguing for a variety of reasons. Most obviously, their uncanny
resemblance to the vegetation upon which they live as
adults is among the most impressive examples of mimicry
in the animal kingdom. In some species (e.g., Extatosoma
tiaratum) the eggs resemble plant seeds that ants carry into
their nests (where they are afforded protection from predators),
and which then hatch into nymphs that are mimics of
their hymenopteran hosts. The Phasmida also contains the
largest (or at least the longest, at over 36 cm) insect in the
world, Pharnacia kirbyi. Many species undergo parthenogenetic
reproduction, which makes them interesting from the
standpoint of reproductive and developmental biology.

1 comment:

blueridgetreks said...

I have never seen a Walking Stick, I'll have to show this to Heather tomorrow. She loves bugs, lizards, snakes, frogs, etc., strange child!! She just came back from 2 weeks a Nature Camp near Vesuvius, VA. Since 2nd grade she has said she wants to be a herpetologist, I don't doubt that is what she will be...