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Timemas and Stick and Leaf Insects: Phasmida

Javan Leaf Insect (phyllium Bioculatum): Species Accounts

Physical characteristics: The Javan leaf insect is a supreme leaf-mimic. Their broad green bodies and legs, with or without spots, are quite flattened. The antennae of the females are very short, while those of the male are longer. Adult males are 1.8 to 2.7 inches (46 to 68 millimeters) in length. Females range from 2.6 to 3.7 inches (67 to 94 millimeters).

Geographic range: This species is widespread in Southeast Asia, including Borneo, China, India, Java, Malaysia, Singapore, and Sumatra. They are also found in Madagascar, Mauritius, and the Seychelles.

Habitat: They live on tropical rainforest vegetation.

Javan leaf insects eat the leaves of guava and rambutan. In captivity they will also eat oak and bramble. (Arthur V. Evans. Reproduced by permission.)

Diet: Javan leaf insects eat the leaves of guava and rambutan. In captivity they will also eat oak and bramble.

Behavior and reproduction: Males can fly well and are usually short-lived, while the longer-lived females are flightless. Both males and females rely on their excellent camouflage to avoid predators.

Females drop their oddly shaped, seedlike eggs to the ground. The larvae may take several months to reach adulthood.

Javan leaf insects and people: This species is popular with hobbyists and as a display animal in insect zoos, although they can sometimes be difficult to maintain.

Conservation status: This species is not endangered or threatened. ∎



Brock, P. D. The Amazing World of Stick and Leaf Insects. Orpington, U.K.: Amateur Entomologists' Society, 1999.

Brock, P. D. A Complete Guide to Breeding Stick and Leaf Insects. Havant, U.K.: T.F.H. Kingdom Books, 2000.

Brock, P. D. Stick and Leaf Insects of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian Nature Society, 1999.


Sivinski, J. "When Is a Stick Not a Stick?" Natural History no. 1012 (June 1992): 30–35.

Vallés, S. R. "Phasmids." Reptilia no. 13 (October 2000): 16–25.

Web sites:

Gordon's Phasmida Page. http://www.earthlife.net/insects/phasmida.html (accessed on September 26, 2004).

Phasmatodea. http://www.cals.ncsu.edu:8050/course/ent425/compendium/stick.html (accessed on September 26, 2004).

"Phasmatodea. Stick Insects, Leaf Insects." Ecowatch. http://www.ento.csiro.au/Ecowatch/Insects_Invertebrates/phasmatodea.htm (accessed September on 26, 2004).

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceInsects and SpidersTimemas and Stick and Leaf Insects: Phasmida - Physical Characteristics, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Stick Insects And People, Conservation Status, Jungle Nymph (heteropteryx Dilatata): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT