Stick Insects and Leaf Insects

(Order: Phasmida)

Of the 103 currently described species in Australia, contained within three families, Phasmatidae is largest, with 66 species. Body typically very long and cylindrical, resembling sticks, or flattened, resembling leaves, with long and thin or flattened legs. Some species in Australia can exceed 300mm in body length, and are among the longest insects known. Wings, when present, consist of larger membranous hindwings protected partially under shorter, hardened forewings (tegmina). Most species rely on their excellent camouflage for protection and are easily overlooked in their natural habitats, rarely fleeing from predators, instead they remain motionless in situ or after dropping to the ground, or spread their large hindwings in an attempt to startle the would be attacker.

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