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stick & leaf insects

Stick Insect
Image: San Diego Zoo

Stick Insect

Stick and leaf insects are all about predator-deterring camo — in both appearance and actions. A stick insect on a branch may sway in the breeze like real parts of a tree.

They're found worldwide in tropical forests and woodlands, except for Antarctica. Stick and leaf insects are part of the order Phasmida (also called Phasmatodea), derived from a Greek word for “apparition.”

San Diego Zoo
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Leaf Insect

Leaf Insect

Can you find it? So much like a leaf that it has a ragged brown edge, this leaf insect blends with the plant it sits on — unless it starts walking away! More...

Article
San Francisco Zoo
Leaf Insect Walking

Leaf Insect Walking

Shake your leaf booty: Watch a leaf insect walk the walk of a leaf blowing in the wind, part of its awesome camouflage. More...

Video
The Nature Blog
Phasmida: Stick Insects

Phasmida: Stick Insects

You won’t believe your eyes in this gallery of stick insects and their confounding camo. Point your cursor over each image for an ID. More...

Images
Alex Wild Photography
Chan’s Megastick

Chan’s Megastick

Master of disguise: Unknown to science until 2008, Chan’s megastick can measure nearly two feet long with its legs outstretched. It lives in the rain forest tree canopy of Borneo. More...

Video
BBC
Handy Disguise

Handy Disguise

It fell from a tree so it must be a seed, right? Some stick insects produce seed-like eggs that ants carry back to the nest, where the egg can develop hidden from predators.

More...

Video
BBC
Peruvian Firestick

Peruvian Firestick

Discover another strategy some stick insects use to avoid becoming a meal. The Peruvian firestick signals with its colors that it emits a stinky and irritating substance. More...

Article
Saint Louis Zoo
Stick Insect Leads Antibiotic Hunt

Stick Insect Leads Antibiotic Hunt

How is it that the giant lime green stick insect has a resistance to toxins and infections it's never been exposed to? That's what researchers in the U.K. are trying to find out. More...

Article
BBC
Stick Insects (Phasmatodea)

Stick Insects (Phasmatodea)

Ready to dive deeper? Investigate the stick insects of New Zealand, where the camouflaged critters occur on vegetation from the coast to the mountains. More...

Article
Landcare Research
Stick Insects (Phasmida)

Stick Insects (Phasmida)

Scientists think that some 3,000 species of stick and leaf insects inhabit the Earth. But there could be way more of these little-known, nocturnal insects. More...

Article
National Geographic
Walking Sticks

Walking Sticks

Walking sticks, like opossums, often play dead. They will lie motionless for hours when they feel threatened. Investigate other stick insect adaptations. More...

Article
Sheppard Software

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