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Northern Walking Stick
(Diapheromera femorata)
by Jon Fouskaris

Specimen provided by US Insects.
Photo taken by US Insects.

       The Northern Walking Stick is one of the only species of stick insect that is legal to sell, buy, and keep in the United States. It is one of the most common species of walking stick in the United States! Northern Walking Sticks have, in my opinion, the best camouflage out of all living creatures. This stick insect looks just like a typical branch, hence it's name. If the tank that you have is large enough, and you have a plant in there, you may not find your stick insect for a while. Northern Walking Sticks prove to be difficult to keep alive in captivity due to their diet. It's not that they are fragile and non-adaptive in captivity, but for most people, finding leaves from different plants and trees year-round is hard. If you can take care of a Northern Walking Stick, then it will probably live to be about one year old in captivity. The Northern Walking Stick is an interesting, legal, and relatively inexpensive stick insect that may become one of your favorite insect pets.
Range Found in vegetation throughout most of United States, southern Ontario, and Quebec.
Type Arboreal.
Diet Babies eat sassafras, raspberry, and black cherry leaves. Adults eat rose, apple, and oak leaves.
Full Grown Size 3 to 4 inches.
Growth Fast speed.
Temperature 75 to 80 F.
Humidity 70 to 80%.
Temperament Docile and calm.
Housing Babies can live in a tall clear plastic container with a screen top. Adults can live in a 2.5 to 15-gallon tank with a screen top, depending on the number of walking sticks. Height is more important than floor space.
Substrate 2 to 3 inches of peat moss, or potting soil.
Decor Sticks, branches, live plants, etc. make good climbing accessories. They also need these decorations to hang upside-down on a branch or a leaf for molting purposes.
Other Names Northern Stick Insect.

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