4/18/2022: The mighty Megaphasma
Right before the Alabama trip I was sent a good number of one of North America’s most delightful boneless treasures: Megaphasma dentricus. This species holds the record for the continent’s longest insect and despite this hefty title implying rarity, it has a surprisingly vast range from Texas to the east coast and just about north to Michigan.
This particular strain had me very eager, as its host plant is strongly evergreen even at Michigan’s latitude: red cedar. That means no intensive preparation for potential winter hatches or long-lived individuals; I can casually stroll out to the local freeway side and cut branches to my heart’s content.
They’re growing quite fast and I haven’t had many deaths, though a few first instars did drop off when the host plant dried out… a month after set-up.
As a gigantic, native, easy-to-feed stickbug, I imagine these will swell in popularity in the coming years. I’ve grown quite fond of them, and the adults (particularly males) are very pretty.