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Spiny leaf insect (Macleay's Phasmid)

Extatosoma tiaratum

Description:

Highly mimetic of dry briar leaves. This female has no wings. This brown spiny phasmid has become a popular pet.

Habitat:

Arboreal. Found on Eucalyptus, Common in Queensland. This stick insect was bred in captivity from an egg and does not survive Victorian winters if kept outdoors.

Notes:

Males are very different, thin and winged. They were once thought to be a different species. Females are parthenogenic with un-mated eggs producing daughters only. Photos taken on citrus tree - not a foodplant. Although called a leaf insect, it is a true stick insect. Pic 4 is a hatchling, imitating the red headed meat ant. Pic 5 is the male with wings set outspread. Pic #6 is the egg with frenulum.

No species ID suggestions

31 Comments (1–25)

MartinL
MartinL 5 years ago

Thank you Mayra and Andrea

MayraSpringmann
MayraSpringmann 5 years ago

WOW! Fascinating!!!

Andrea Lim
Andrea Lim 5 years ago

Great series Martin. Good spotting!

MartinL
MartinL 5 years ago

Thank you for your kind words Antonio.

fantastic series martinl,congrats on the great work you do here,thanks for sharing,your spotting page is a LESSON for all of us

MartinL
MartinL 6 years ago

Thanks for your comments

love it!

Reiaze
Reiaze 6 years ago

That's an awesome photo! Well done!

MayraSpringmann
MayraSpringmann 6 years ago

Fantastic!!!

MartinL
MartinL 6 years ago

Thanks Mandy. This one is a captive bred adult female - winter is too cold for them to survive down here. Native to northeastern Australia but kept as pets worldwide.

Mandy Hollman
Mandy Hollman 6 years ago

You found these in Georgia?! I'll have to keep an eye out for them in my yard too.

Mandy Hollman
Mandy Hollman 6 years ago

Wow! This is an incredible spotting!

MartinL
MartinL 6 years ago

I put her on the citrus for a bright background, she started to take a bite, never having seen a non edible leaf in her life, and quickly stopped. They're as docile as my cat and will sit there posing all day..

Leuba Ridgway
Leuba Ridgway 6 years ago

looks like she's saying " Is this pose alright - click please" - absolutely wonderful !!. Pic #4 (excluding main pic) looks like me as a teenager !!

- great information and series of pics. Thanks.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 6 years ago

I can hear her calling out martin... "Where are you going!? Don't leave me up here."

MartinL
MartinL 6 years ago

I've added her egg to the series.

MartinL
MartinL 6 years ago

Carol; praying mantids are carnivorous and predatory. They are live feeders. This is a lot of work. I'm sticking with sticks. They may be slow but they eat eucalyptus leaves, or rose leaves, or oak. That is easy.

KarenL
KarenL 6 years ago

Really awesome! I want one!!!!

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 6 years ago

That hatchling REALLY is cute!

Walking Leaf
Walking Leaf 6 years ago

martinl: I see, I did not look up their habitat in Australia before posting. Extatosoma are popular pets all around the world an I have kept them too.

CarolSnowMilne
CarolSnowMilne 6 years ago

You added the wing photo! WOW! That is so cool that you raise them! I am thinking about raising praying mantis.

AnnaWhipkey
AnnaWhipkey 6 years ago

these are great. I just saw a fascinating documentary on pet beetles in Japan, "Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo"

MartinL
MartinL 6 years ago

Just added the male stick insect. Just added the cutest hatchling. Oh yes, and I corrected the typo - thanks argybee.

MartinL
MartinL 6 years ago

Just to clarify for Walking leaf - this species is not found in Victoria. I have bred this insect.

Victoria, Australia

Lat: -37.73, Long: 145.38

Spotted on Dec 26, 2011
Submitted on Dec 26, 2011

Spotted for mission

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Giant Prickly Stick Insect Macleays phasmid (female) Spiny Leaf Insect Spiny Leaf Insect

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