I would not go so far as to call my house “nice,” or “suitable for human habitation,” but I would call it “interesting.” Now that the plague of giant, non-biting mosquitoes seems to have subsided, new arthropodal fauna is coming out of the woodwork (I really hope not literally), and it’s freaking me the hell out.
This hefty dude has taken up residence on my front porch, competing for attention with a mid-sized spider, two cats, and various bugs I shan’t dignify by naming. I decided to crowdsource an ID of my new little buddy, and gosh do I regret doing that (h/t to Teresa for causing my future nightmares with her biology learnin’).
Meet Anisomorpha ferruginea, the Northern Two-striped Walkingstick. He is so terrifying that Wikipedia doesn’t even have a page for him. Here’s what it says about his cousin, Anisomorpha buprestoides:
This species, and another in the same genus (Anisomorpha ferruginea, whose range is more west and north, but may overlap with A. buprestoides) is particularly well known for its very potent chemical defense spray which it deploys from a pair of glands which open at the front of its thorax. The “Devil rider” name for this insect likely comes from this defense…
Did anyone else think of this scene from Starship Troopers?
If anyone needs me, I’ll be hiding in my closet with a shoe and a can of Raid.