One of the most striking insects you might find at Archbold Biological Station, but watch out!
Aka: Anisomorpha buprestoides, Southern Two-striped Walkingstick, Musk Mare
This is a rebel of a walkingstick. While most walkingsticks prefer to camouflage, this one takes the opposite approach. It is bold and colorful because it is capable of spraying a foul and irritating liquid when threatened. They’re said to be very accurate, so don’t get too close. Once a male (which are smaller than the females) finds a female, he climbs on her back and stays there. This way he can produce more offspring than he would if he went off looking for other females. I like the name devil rider because this insect sure looks hellish.
In my experience, they seem to be active during the day and night, since I’ve seen two during the day and two at night.
Written and photographed by Evan Barrientos – Environmental Education Intern at Archbold Biological Station