Last week while at Laity Lodge I ran into a Texas Walkingstick. Now that is one strange bug! The Megaphasma dentricus is the longest insect in the United States. The first one I saw (photographed below) had a body that was about six inches long. Later that day I saw another with a seven-inch body.
These things look pretty strange, but they are harmless. The Texas Walkingstick does have a cousin, however, the Southern Walkingstick (Anisomorpha buprestoides), which can spray a toxic substance into the eyes, causing painful but temporary damage. Just to be safe, if you see a Walkingstick, don’t get within a foot of it and have a stare down.