Thursday, September 25, 2014

Indiana Stick-Bug - No Male Today

Masters of camouflage and mimicry is the Indiana Walking Stick insect sometimes called a Stick-Bug. A member of the order Plasmatodea various forms of these insects are found world-wide generally in warmer climates.  Walking sticks live most of their lives high in the leaves of deciduous trees eating leaves coming down to the ground only to lay eggs in the leaf litter on the forest floor. Stick-bugs also are PARTHENOGENETIC. Female parthenogenetic insects have the ability to reproduce without a male being involved in the process.  All offspring generated without a male will be female.

Walking sticks that have not reached the end of their molting phase have the ability to regenerate limbs that have been lost for one reason or another during a molt. Indiana stick-bugs are flightless and will not bite a handler making them desirable as pets.  This Walking Stick was found outside the Fox Island Nature Center crossing a path at mid-day and was a willing subject when placed on the leaf.

Photos by J. Ormiston