The Leaf Insect (Phyllium philippinicum) is related to stick insects.
The Leaf Insect is bright green and looks like a leaf. It is flat and broad, and has brown spots on the edges of its body. Its abdomen has veins like leaves. Its legs have lobes, which can be green or brown. It has long antennae. Females are larger, thicker, and wider than males.
It measures about 6-9 centimetres (3-4 inches) in length.
The Leaf Insect is native to the tropical forests of the Philippines. It is mainly nocturnal, active at night.
It walks in a stop-go manner – a swing step – slowly and cautiously. Males can fly, but females cannot fly.
It eats leaves of specific plants, such as the guava, the blackberry, or the evergreen oak. The nymphs (larvae stage) also eat plant leaves.
Females lay eggs on plant leaves. The eggs hatch into nymphs, which become adults about 4 months later.
They live for about 6 months.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
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