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The Fascinating World of Leaf Insects


I always thought stick insects were boring, but then I found so many interesting species.
Leaf insects caught my attention straight away. The way they had evolved their unique camouflage was so fascinating. 
leaf insect
Now I have 2 species of leaf insect. This lovely lady is the matriarch of my philippinicum colony. I have 3 adult females, 4 adult males, a few nymphs and lots of eggs. 

Here are 5 amazing facts about these pretty insects. 

1. The first type of leaf insect discovered was in 1832. Can you imagine suddenly seeing a leaf get up and walking away?! 

2. They can lay eggs without males. This is called parthenogenesis. If there are no males around, the female will just clone herself. 

3. They tuck in their legs to look even more like an authentic leaf. 

4. If you blow on them gently, they sway to mimic leaves in the breeze. 

5. They moult out of their old skins to grow, this is so wonderful to watch. All my insects do this, from my mantis to my sticks. 
moulting leaf insect
Female leaf insect moulting 

If you want to keep leaf insects here are some ways to find them.

1. Ask on a Facebook Group like this one
2. Check out online insect stores. BugsUk currently has some small nymphs for sale.  
3. Buy eggs on Ebay. But beware of anyone selling 'coloured' varieties, this is often a scam. 
 I tend not to buy on Ebay and instead prefer to build relationships with other insect enthusiasts via groups. 
4. Search locally via selling sites such as Gumtree. This was how I was able to avoid getting my leafy's posted. 
insect illustrator
You can sometimes find people that will post live nymphs.
Personally, I prefer to pick up my insects and chauffeur them safely home. Or get eggs posted as these are very unlikely to get damaged in transit.
leaf insect illustration
I could talk leaf insects for hours so if you have any questions just ask!



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