Walkingsticks & Leaf Insects (Phasmida)

Greek "phasm" (phantom) referring to their strange appearance

The walkingsticks resemble sticks, with long twig-like abdomens, and slender legs. The leaf insects, of the Timemidae family, are green or brown, and have broad flat abdomens that mimic leaves and stems. Some can change colors depending on temperature, light or humidity. Some Phasmids have wings, but most are wingless. In the tropics, walkingsticks can reach a length of up to 12 inches. All Phasmids are plant eaters and most are slow-moving, relying on their camouflage for protection. They can drop legs when attacked by a predator, and in some cases can regenerate them when they molt.


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H. Vannoy Davis © 2005 California Academy of Sciences
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H. Vannoy Davis © 2005 California Academy of Sciences
click for enlargement
© 2005 California Academy of Sciences


Quick ID

  • Resemble a twig, branch, or leaf
  • Slow-moving

More information about Walkingsticks & Leaf Insects

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Last updated: Jan 2, 2017