Diapheromera femorata, the Northern Walking Stick

Male (left) and female Diapheromera femorata

Male (left) and female Diapheromera femorata

Myrmecos blog commentators identified Sunday's mystery photo almost instantly as a stick insect laying an egg.  The species is the Northern Walking Stick Diapheromera femorata, a common local insect easily collected by beating tree branches. We've taken a few home as pets, and the females are obligingly dropping several eggs a day.

The eggs of D. femorata resemble plant seeds

The eggs of D. femorata resemble plant seeds

Photo details (top): Canon 100mm f2.8 macro lens on a Canon EOS 50D, ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/200 sec

(bottom): Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon EOS 50D

ISO 100, f/13, 1/250 sec, flash diffused through tracing paper

More like this

Female (left) and male Sandalus niger Cicada Parasite Beetles Sandalus niger is one of the oddest beetles in eastern North America.  While most parasitic insects are concentrated in other orders- notably Hymenoptera and Diptera- Coleoptera contains relatively few parasites.  But there are a few…
This tiger moth caterpillar may appear normal at first glance.  But a closer look reveals it to be plagued by dozens of wasp larvae, slowly consuming it alive as they cling to its back: photo details (top photo): Canon 100mm f2.8 macro lens on a Canon EOS 50D ISO 200, f/7, 1/200 sec, indirect…
Penthe pimelia (Tetratomidae)Illinois, USA A couple years back I was working on the Beetle Tree of Life project as a molecular phylogeneticist. My main responsibility was to gather DNA sequence data for several hundred beetles distributed across the spectrum of Coleopteran diversity. As I'm not a…
Megacyllene robiniae - Locust Borer Champaign, Illinois Goldenrod flowers are a magnet for late summer insects, and among the most spectacular attractions is the locust borer, a wasp-striped longhorn beetle.  They gather on the flowers to mate and to feed on pollen. Megacyllene larvae are pests…

uau! fantastic pictures!

these eggs are really amazing!

By pedrodapos (not verified) on 13 Oct 2009 #permalink

What is its myrmecolgical importance? Are the eggs carried to the nest by harvester ants?

Great shots! I love these guys. I'm sorry to say the last one I saw was being dismembered by a rather upset Polistes annularis.

The eggs have an operculum that attracts ants, so the ants disperse the eggs. This is analogous to the elaiosome of ant-dispersed plant seeds.