Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Leaf Insect (Phyllium sp.)

The Leaf Insect, as its name implies, is a green insect with a leaflike appearance.  They are also referred to as the "Walking Leaf". They are about 2 to 4 inches long and feed on the leaves of plants and trees.  I have not seen the adult leaf insect but my friend, Allan Lee, spotted one at Pasir Ris Park not too long ago (see below).

(Image taken by my friend, Allan Lee - May 2010 )

The eggs of the leaf insect are normally just scattered on the ground.  They resemble various types of seeds to prevent the eggs from being eaten. When the eggs are first hatched, the baby insects are a deep red colour.  After about 2 days, they would change to brownish yellow.  Subsequently, about 2 weeks later, the nymphs would start to turn green after they started feeding on leaves.

(Upper Peirce - 20 Sep 2010)

I was fortunately to have spotted this nymph leaf insect at Upper Peirce.    It was about 2 cm long with a very nice leaf-liked abdomen.   This has to be one of the most ususual insects that I have seen so far!

(Side View)

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