A couple of weeks ago I shared another walking stick photograph on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter with this accompanying haiku.
A walking stick and
gossip in the shade.
My walking stick haiku makes more sense if you actually look closely at the photograph.
Can you discern the walking stick’s miniature companion? Is it a spider. Definitely not a yellow garden spider, but I’m not certain if it’s another arachnid or another spidery insect.
The walking sticks were photographed while perching on lawn furniture and a fence posts. Different but not distant locations. There’s another notable difference. Or two. Can you spot it/them?
Walking Stick Trivia
Today’s snapshot (the one at the top of this post) appears to be the same variety of walking stick (maybe even the very same bug), but s/he appears to have lost a rear leg. And a green arm or half of a pair of Pinocchio proboscises?
Unfortunate. Losing limbs unlikely offers a survival advantage. And yet this walking stick remains agile despite the impairment.
I realize I’ve never shared a “Friend or Foe” post about walking sticks, so I’m adding it to the already endless punch list of future posts. It’ll be the perfect excuse to learn a little more about this bizarrely beautiful bug.
Phasmids, Phasmatodea, Phasmatoptera…
It turns our that walking sticks (aka “ghost insects”?!?!) are somewhat phantasmagorical, er, rather Phasmatodea. You with me?
The Phasmatodea (also known as Phasmida, Phasmatoptera or Spectra) are an order of insects whose members are variously known as stick insects, stick-bugs, walking sticks, or bug sticks. They are generally referred to as phasmatodeans, phasmids, or ghost insects. (Source: Wikipedia)
Walking sticks perplexing and intriguing. And, in a slightly bamboo way, they are beautiful. Well, at least the ones I’m sharing in this post. I admit that I know little about these quirky insects, so it’s a time to pursue curiosity down the proverbial rabbit hole (or bug hole?!?!) It’s time to learn more about the Phasmatodea…
You can file this next tidbit in your quirky-to-the-point-of-being-cool folder. (You have one of those, right? Right!) If you think that walking sticks — as well as other “stick and leaf insects” in the phasmid species such as Chitoniscus sarrameaensis — are worth more than just a fleeting glance, I suggest you check out Phasmatodea.com.
Phasmatodea.com… started as a project funded by the phasmid experts, Oskar Conle and Frank Hennemann, with the clear aim to provide an extensive source of information, photos and possibility for the identification of species of this fascinating insect order, not only for scientists but also for breeders and anyone interested in these insects. Now we’re the world’s leading website about phasmids, having the largest photographic gallery and the most comprehensive content about this insect order. (Source: www.phasmatodea.com)
Welcome to the wacky, wonder-filled world of walking sticks. Off to learn more, maybe even enough to some day share a a “Friend or Foe: Walking Sticks” post. Stay tuned. Or, better yet, teach me what I need to know before I get gobbled up by a walking bamboo stick. Thanks.
What do you think?