These quite remarkable looking animals are one of many species of true LEAF INSECTS, which very closely resemble leaves making them masters of camouflage in the trees in which they live! This particular species would in the wild be found in Thailand as well as Indonesia & the Philippines but these individuals were bred in captivity in the UK.

One of my females is on the top in the two pictures below with a male directly below her. Females are considerably larger than males and unable to fly, whereas the males has fully developed wings and are able to fly quite gracefully.

Leaf Insects

Males and females appear even more different when viewed close up, with the male (below) having very long feathery antennae. This picture is of a different male than the one pictured above, as you can see he has a nice reddish-brown colouration on some parts of his legs.

Male Leaf Insect

Females have really tiny antennae compared to the males and also much larger ‘leafy’ projections on their front legs!

Female Leaf Insect

In 2014 I had my first ever female mature into a yellow individual rather than green! Here she is alongside one of her more typical green siblings showing the difference between the two:

Colour variation in Leaf Insects

I have had excellent success in breeding this species and I would have to say that the babies (nymphs) are some of the prettiest of all the species I keep! What is amazing about the babies is their colour on hatching, quite unlike the adult colouration as you can see below!

Baby Leaf Insect
Baby Leaf Insects

They usually lose this fabulous red/brown colouration as soon as they moult for the first time when they become green. As they grow they moult regularly until adult size is reached, which can be as quickly as four to five months in my experience with the species! Here are a group of nymphs where a few have already moulted for the first time to become green:

Leaf Insects after first moult

I say that they usually lose their brownish colouration because in fact individuals from Sulawesi in Indonesia unusually retain their brown colouration as they mature! Here are a group of brown individuals, the first ever ones I have ever seen let alone kept, which I acquired in May 2013:

Brown Leaf Insects
Brown Leaf Insects
Brown Leaf Insects
Brown Leaf Insect