About the Author

Michael Doig is a science teacher, web developer, and avid traveler who lives in Brooklyn, NY. He graduated from the University of Hawaii with a degree in Zoology and from Pace University with a Masters of Science in Teaching. He currently teaches Earth Science in a New York public high school.

Stick Insects in New Jersey?

I recently went for a hike at the Lusscroft Farm trail in Sussex New Jersey. As I was ambling down the path, I stumbled upon this stick bug. I have seen stick insects many times, but I always thought they were limited to tropical habitats. Apparently they have evolved in the temperate regions of Earth as well.

This is not the first time I have found a species I thought was tropical living in and around New York. I spotted Parrots nesting in Brooklyn back in March.

Check out the cool “pincher” on the back of it. Defense, mating, or for grasping while climbing?

Stick Insect in New Jersey

Stick Insect in New Jersey

Stick Insect in New Jersey

I was so excited to have found a stick bug that I forgot to switch my camera into macro mode, so the video is a little out-of-focus.

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  1. gravatarSandi | Oct 12, 2008 | Reply

    Did you find out what species this stick bug is? i was searching on line to identify the one I just found on my back deck in Hudson Valley New York, and I found your site. This is the exact insect I found, but it was missing a front leg. I think my dog might have been playing with it. I was also surprised to see it in the fall in such a cold climate. What did you find out?

  2. gravatarMichael Doig | Oct 12, 2008 | Reply

    Sandi,
    It seems to be a Northern Walkingstick (Diapheromera fermorata). http://www.fcps.edu/islandcreekes/ecology/northern_walkingstick.htm
    The “clasping rings” appear to indicate it is a male.

  3. gravatarrachel galloway nj | Oct 21, 2010 | Reply

    this is the second of the same species in less then a month i saw. First in smithville on the door outside. larger, the size of my forarm. And then just now, inside my home a little larger then the one pictured. Its back claw was much larger and almost resembled bark.

  4. gravatarjim albert | Sep 30, 2011 | Reply

    i just saw one attached to the shingle next to my sliding glass door.(9/30/11) This is the second I have seen in my life the last about 2 years prior– Could it be the same one after such a rough winter here in Jersey 2011?

  5. gravatarjohn rao | Oct 21, 2011 | Reply

    i found my first stick bug today walking across a small out of the way street in manchester new jersey i was stunned i thought this insect only lived in tropical zones and not in october in manchester it was about tree to four inches long and it seemed in perfect condition.first humming birds now stick bugs in my town.I will let you know when i come across a field of gold nuggets or raw diamonds always on the look out sincerly john rao

  6. gravatarJane | Nov 27, 2011 | Reply

    These insects are found in NJ and I have seen them my entire life. I saw one last week on my siding as well. I believe they are mostly nocturnal so it is harder to come across them. They are harmless and will not hurt you.

  7. gravatarMaggs | Oct 5, 2014 | Reply

    Just almost stepped on one at Battleview Orchards in Freehold NJ.

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