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baby dancing stick

baby dancing stick
Hoosier National Forest, Monroe County, Indiana, USA
May 10, 2011
Size: less than 1"
Found this little guy dancing - he kept rocking side to side over and over again - so much fun to watch! It's most likely a Northern Walkingstick (Diapheromera femorata), but I've also seen Giant Walking Stick (Megaphasma denticrus) in this area, and Blatchley's Walkingstick (Manomera blatchleyi) is a third possibility. Is there any way to tell which species with one so young?

Images of this individual: tag all
baby dancing stick baby dancing stick

probably it's easy to tell, but only with a little experience
there are no identification keys to nymphs. I don't know if the tell-tail spines on the femora are present when they are this young, but if they are, that may be the way to tell (they don't show in this photo, and don't seem to show up in photos of young nymphs even when the angle is good). Comparison of shapes and proportions might work too, again with some reference points derived from experience.

Moved from Walkingsticks.

Thanks, David
The next time I find one, I think I'll keep it as a pet and take photos as it "grows up". :)

I forgot to add that I do have a hunch, but I could be wrong
My guess would be Megaphasma denticrus.

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