Javanese Leaf Insect

(Phyllium bioculatum)

Which is the insect and which is the leaf? Blending perfectly with its environment, a green Javanese leaf insect creeps across a leaf. In the wild, leaf insects live in forests on islands in the South Pacific and in Africa, Sri Lanka, and parts of northern Australia.

Description. Up to 80 mm long. Flattened body, with leaf-like flaps on the legs. Almost entirely green in colour, apart from vein-like markings on the forewings and scattered brownish marks elsewhere. The whole insect looks just like a leaf.

Biology. Lives on vegetation and well camouflaged against the leaves on which it feeds.

Distribution. Indonesia.

Habitat: Tropical rainforests in Southeast Asia. Java. Seychelles.

Diet: Variety of plants. Bramble.

Enemies: Birds, amphibians, and reptiles.