Guardian Nature School Team Contact Blog Project Noah Facebook Project Noah Twitter

A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife

Join Project Noah!
nature school apple icon

Project Noah Nature School visit nature school

spiny leaf insect (female)

Extatosoma popa

Description:

There are just two species in the genus Extatosoma. One lives in Australia and this one lives in New Guinea. This species looks like a cactus rather than a stick. It is a female because it is bigger (bulkier) and with more spines than a male. Its legs too are prickly and shaped and colored like the leaves of a desert plant.

Habitat:

Spotted in the central highlands of Papua, Indonesia (Mamit village).

Notes:

This photo was taken by my daughter B. Frazier. She has given me permission to post it in my collection. :-)

Species ID Suggestions



Sign in to suggest organism ID

28 Comments (1–25)

Scott Frazier
Scott Frazier 9 years ago

Thanks Maria & Jolly!

Jolly Ibañez
Jolly Ibañez 9 years ago

Nice Scott

Maria dB
Maria dB 9 years ago

Great spotting!

Scott Frazier
Scott Frazier 9 years ago

Thanks C.Sydes & Jason!

Jason Alexander
Jason Alexander 9 years ago

Amazing creature! Papua is beautiful!

C.Sydes
C.Sydes 9 years ago

What an interesting looking giant, great spot

Scott Frazier
Scott Frazier 9 years ago

Thanks very much António and Argy!

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 9 years ago

She? is truly beautiful. Nice job Frazier team.

Awesome S Frazier,give my congrats to you daugther(she follow her father steps:) and thanks for sharing such an amazing,rare and beautiful creature

Scott Frazier
Scott Frazier 9 years ago

Thanks Nuwan!

NuwanChathuranga
NuwanChathuranga 9 years ago

Amazing!

MartinL
MartinL 9 years ago

Stick insects (order Phasmatodea = Stick insects and leaf insects) contain several families including leaf insects; family = Phylliidae. The correct common name for all Extratosoma is "Spiny Leaf Insect" as you had it and my point was that it does not belong to the family Phylliidae (true leaf insects).
I do suspect Extatosoma popa carlbergi which is very variable but not confidently. I agree that you should leave the ID at species level.

Scott Frazier
Scott Frazier 9 years ago

Thank you Karen & Sandra!

SandraPereira
SandraPereira 9 years ago

Amazing spotting ..

KarenL
KarenL 9 years ago

Fabulous!

Scott Frazier
Scott Frazier 9 years ago

Thank Dan & Lauren and Martin! Martin, I saw the common name in use somewhere but I'll change it to stick insect. So do you mean Extatosoma popa carlbergi or Extatosoma popa popa? I saw similar images in my 3rd reference link but this one seemed in between so I left it at species level.

MartinL
MartinL 9 years ago

You have a great photo of this stick insect. It is a stick insect and not a leaf insect, so its name is a bit misleading. I think it imitates a compound leaf such as blackberries or rose with the leaflets corresponding to the leg flanges. I have a dried one in my collection, as live ones are not legal for me. I think your spotting is the mottled subspecies http://phasmid-study-group.org/content/E...
http://phasmid-study-group.org/content/E...
The smaller Australia E. tiaratum has two subspecies also. The mossy form is scarce. There is also a green form that is not a subspecies.

LaurenZarate
LaurenZarate 9 years ago

Very interesting...wish we could all go and look for them!

Dan Doucette
Dan Doucette 9 years ago

Wow! Amazing find Scott!

Scott Frazier
Scott Frazier 9 years ago

I don't think so. I wondered why myself, but I don't know what vegetation it was found on or prefers. I did read however that there are two subspecies for each of the two species in the genus. One subspecies (of each species) looks (mimics) like a succulent/cactus (like this one) and the other mimics lichens!

LaurenZarate
LaurenZarate 9 years ago

What a wonderful creature! Even though it was found in the highlands, does it live on cactus?

Scott Frazier
Scott Frazier 9 years ago

Thanks Gilma!

It is so big and scary!! but it is beautiful.

Scott Frazier
Scott Frazier 9 years ago

Thanks Ali!

Ali Hemati Pour
Ali Hemati Pour 9 years ago

WoW! So Sweet!

Scott Frazier
Spotted by
Scott Frazier

Papua, Indonesia

Spotted on Feb 6, 2013
Submitted on Apr 22, 2013

Noah Guardians
Noah Sponsors
join Project Noah Team

Join the Project Noah Team