Domain: Eukarya
At times consisting of trillions of cells, Eukaryotes have the most structural organization out of the three domains of life. These organisms consists of mostly terrestrial plants and animals, but can be largely diverse. Eukaryotes all contain a nucleus, cytoskeleton, and many complex organelles, which bound by membranes. (Keeling 2003).

Kingdom: Animalia
Species under this kingdom do not contain cell walls, and are all heterotrophic, meaning they don't make their own food. They are multicellular, with all phylums expect Porifera having specialized tissues. These multicellular organisms can be very tiny, consisting of only a few cells, to very big, weighing a few tons (Meyers 2001).

Phylum: Arthropoda
Species under this phylum are dioecous protostomes that can be characterized by their bilateral symmetry, segmented bodies (which include fused segments called tagmata), paired jointed appendages, and chitinous exoskeletons. They all go through ecdysis, a shedding of their protective outer layer, and most enter their adult life stage through metamorphosis (Meyers 2001).

Class: Insecta
Insecta is the most diverse class of Animalia, and can be found in almost any environment (although few species are marine). The mating habits throughout Insecta vary greatly, but are all similar in that female Insecta mate only once, and use that same sperm to reproduce from there on out. You can distinguish Insecta from other Animalia by their three pairs of legs, compound eyes, antennae, and three body parts; a head, thorax, and abdomen
. Insecta are also unique because of their spiracles, which are breathing holes on the sides of their bodies which carry gases directly to the cells (Meyers 2001).

Order: Phasmida
Species under this order
take on the form of sticks, twigs, and leaves in an attempt to camouflage and hide themselves from predators. All male Phasmids contain a pair of claspers, which they wrap around the female during mating, and all female Phasmids lay their eggs one at a time. These eggs can be distinguished by a lid type structure called an operculum. All Phasmids have a pair of exocrine glands near the top of the thorax (Tilgner 2006).

Family: Diapheromeridae
Species under this family are all slender and elongated with large antennae. They have spines, usually reproduce sexually, and have many short, parallel, muscles that run between the back and belly (Tilgner 2006).

Genus: Megaphasma
Species under this genus have circular, smooth heads, and antennae that are longer than the femurs on the front legs. Both the middle and hind legs contain spines, and the middle of the thorax is at least four times longer than the first section of the thorax (Arment 2006).

Species: dentricus
This species can be characterized by many rows of teeth located near the antennae (MacRae 2009), as well as front legs that are longer and skinnier than the other two pairs. Megaphasma dentricus is the largest phasmid in North America (Arment 2006).

Common Name: Giant Walking Stick

The giant walking stick was taken out of the genus Diapheromera and put into the genus Megaphasma.

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