Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Megaphasma denticrus (Stål)
Orig. Comb: Diapheromera denticrus Stål 1875
Syn: Megaphasma dentricus (spelling)
Longest North American insect, females to 180 mm (7 inches). Helfer (1962)(1)
gives range of 76-150 mm.
Per study conducted by Maginnis et al. (2008), females ranged from 105-135 mm and males ranged from 90-125 mm.
In addition to its great size, both sexes of this species can be distinguished from other walkingsticks by the rows of numerous teeth on the underside of the middle (meso-) femur and by the very long antennae (longer than the front femur). (MacRae 2009)
Both sexes have femoral spines on their mid and hind legs: , but males have a large, single spine on each leg
and females a row of small spines. (Maginnis et al. 2008)
Color is variable, greenish to reddish-brown, sometimes with white on legs.
Females drop their eggs to the ground, and can lay up to three eggs per hour and thirteen per day for several months. (Maginnis et al. 2008)
Longest insect in North America (5)
Helfer (1962), p. 22, fig. 30 (1)
Maginnis, T.L., C.L. Cool and J.L. Muniz. 2008. Some observations on the mating behavior of the giant walkingstick, Megaphasma dentricus
[sic] (Orthoptera: Phasmidae). Texas Journal of Science 60(1): 57-62. Full Text
Taber and Fleenor (2003), pp. 214-215, fig. 177 (3)
Wilkins, O.P. & O.P. Breland. 1951. Notes on the giant walking stick, Megaphasma deticrus [sic] (Stål) (Orthoptera: Phasmatidae). Texas Journal of Science 3: 305-310.
North America’s longest insect
- Beetles in the Bush, Ted C. MacRae, 2009