Definitions

leaf insect

leaf insect

leaf insect, common name given to herbivorous insects of leaflike appearance forming a single family in the order Phasmida. Leaf insects are green and have extremely flattened, irregularly shaped bodies, wings, and legs; they are usually about 4 in. (10 cm) long. Their wings often have venation similar to that of the leaves on which they live. The eggs of leaf insects are scattered on the ground and hatch in the spring. The young resemble the adults except for their smaller size and reddish color; shortly after they begin feeding on leaves they turn green. Leaf insects are tropical in distribution. The walking sticks of tropical and temperate climates are members of the same order. Leaf insects are classified in the phylum Arthropoda, class Insecta, order Phasmida.
or walking leaf

Any of about 25 species of flat green insects (family Phylliidae) with a leaflike appearance. Leaf insects, which range from India to the Fiji Islands, are about 2.3 in. (60 mm) long. The female has large leathery forewings (tegmina) that lie edge to edge on the abdomen and resemble, in their vein pattern, the midrib and veins in a leaf. The hind wings have no function. The male has small tegmina and ample, non-leaflike, functional hind wings. The newly hatched young are reddish, but become green after feeding on leaves.

Learn more about leaf insect with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Search another word or see leaf insecton Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature