Wandering with a walkingstick

So the frost didn’t strike last week, despite the warnings, though it is definitely with us now (October 9th marked the first frost here). There were still a few things to be found, like this friendly Walkingstick. As with past Walkingsticks, this one was on our house, along with a Praying Mantis and hoards of Box Elder Bugs. I picked it up and took it to a tree, except it didn’t want to leave and kept walking back onto my hand. It moved surprisingly fast and as a result, not many of my photos turned out.

And this is one of the strangest things I’ve seen–a fly that appeared to be blowing bubbles. It started with a very small drop of water that gradually got to this size, then it diminished and started again. It seems that this behaviour is called “bubbling” by scientists and that the fly is regurgitating water to make space for the digestion of more solubles.1 From its markings, and Wikipedia,2 I think it was probably a Flesh Fly, the sort that can help out with forensic investigations (in addition to entertaining people with new close up lenses).


1. Stoffolano, J., Acaron, A., Conway, M. (2008).  “Bubbling” or Droplet Regurgitation in Both Sexes of Adult Phormia regina (Diptera: Calliphoridae) Fed Various Concentrations of Sugar and Protein Solutions. Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 101(5): 946-970. Online: http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.1603/0013-8746%282008%29101%5B964:BODRIB%5D2.0.CO%3B2.

2. Flesh Fly, Wikipedia. Online: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flesh-fly.

9 Responses to “Wandering with a walkingstick”
  1. sandy says:

    I have not seen a walkingstick here. Maybe I am looking right over them. Good photos! It didn’t seem to mind being held.
    Wow, that is one weird fly.

  2. donald says:

    you are easily amused, aren’t you? LOL

  3. Cait says:

    Hi Sandy, yes, you may be looking right over them. I’m sure I never would have noticed it on a tree, it would blend right in.

    Donald, yes, I suppose you’re right 😉 You should see all the things I don’t post and save you from!

  4. montucky says:

    I love those photos, Cait! They are great! Haven’t seen a walking stick for a couple of years now but they are so interesting!

    • Cait says:

      Thanks montucky! I don’t usually see them often either, but this has been the year of the walkingstick here, I guess–I think this is number 4.

  5. Barbara says:

    Wow! I can’t remember the last time I saw a walking stick! And I’ve never seen one so close up! What a fascinating insect! I especially like the first shot with the close up of its face. You’re doing some amazing things with that lens! Even that fly looks kind of adorable… 🙂

  6. Cait says:

    Aw, thanks Barbara! Even the fly :)! The walkingstick was a real pal.

  7. Your shots are amazing! I’d love to hear about the camera/lens you are using.
    Thanks for getting us up close and personal with these amazing little creatures.

    • Cait says:

      Thanks Jessie! I use an Olympus E-500 SLR, a Zuiko f3.5 macro lens (while it’s still expensive, it’s considered ‘entry level’ and a lot more affordable than most I’ve seen) and the lenses that came with the camera. Thanks for coming by – and your ranch looks amazing!

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