Leaf Insects are truly masters of disguise, both sexes are broad and flattened like leaves as juveniles, but only the female remains so as an adult. They are believed to be canopy dwellers which explains the lack of encounters, and may feed on the foliage of Cryptocarya mackinnoniana. They will also feed upon Guava which this specimen certainly did. When we first moved to Kuranda we planted several Guava trees just in the hope of attracting these illusive insects.
The genus Phyllium is represented by over 30 species throughout southern
|The mature male Phyllium monteithi. Males have fully functional wings and are excellent flyers.|
|Peeking over a leaf - note the extremely hairy antennae.|
|The underside of the abdomen reveals the segments hidden by the wings when viewed from above.|
|This specimen readily fed upon Guava, one reason we inspect all Guava trees we see with great interest.|
|A close-up of the male feeding.|
|While most male phasmids have some flight capability, this one would readlily take to the air and was quite agile on the wing.|