leaf insect

All Sources -
Updated Media sources (1) About encyclopedia.com content Print Topic Share Topic
views updated

leaf insect, common name given to herbivorous insects of leaflike appearance forming a single family in the order Phasmida. Leaf insects are green and have extremely flattened, irregularly shaped bodies, wings, and legs; they are usually about 4 in. (10 cm) long. Their wings often have venation similar to that of the leaves on which they live. The eggs of leaf insects are scattered on the ground and hatch in the spring. The young resemble the adults except for their smaller size and reddish color; shortly after they begin feeding on leaves they turn green. Leaf insects are tropical in distribution. The walking sticks of tropical and temperate climates are members of the same order. Leaf insects are classified in the phylum Arthropoda, class Insecta, order Phasmida.

views updated

leaf insect Any of several species of flat, green insects that bear a resemblance to leaves and are found throughout tropical Asia. The female has large leathery forewings with markings resembling a pattern of leaf veins. Order Phasmida; family Phylliidae. See also stick insect