Leafy visitor

I’d just cut back the woody stems of the verandah vines — the ornamental grape and the wisteria. A scattering of brown tendrils and dry curling leaves had landed on the verandah and I began to sweep them off.

Only, one decided it didn’t want to be swept and began lurching away.

It was so delicate I’d have broken it with one unwitting blow, had I not seen it for what it was — a small leaf insect, one of the Phasmid family, like the stick insects.

I do have the CSIRO field guide to these extraordinary insects, but I can’t find this one.

Flared and flattened, curled and bent, blotched and pitted — what amazing camouflage! Not much use on this drawer I was airing, so I carefully let it cling to a stick and transferred it to the brown stems and remnant leaves from whence I expect it had come. The delicacy of its feet, especially the questing front ones! 

Nature truly is awesome.

9 thoughts on “Leafy visitor”

  1. Hi Avriel,
    Thanks for visiting the website. Having visited you in your beautiful Springsure area of Queensland, I know how much you value our real natural resources – and how appalling it is that the likes of Rolleston coalmine is threatening your place. Coal is a curse.

  2. Great photos. Please Australia “wake up”‘ we are selling our resources to be burnt by other countries who do not understand our wonderful land full of beautiful areas,trees, wild life, birds, insects. Money seems to rule the world – not sense.
    Lets hope soon people will understand we are selling ourselves (our resources) and will loose so much of our wonderful clean food producing areas to coal mining etc and the WATER will be lost forever. Our land and water cannot be rehabilitated so our environment will be lost for ever.

  3. Hi littleblack crow– thanks for visiting –and what a great name! I am still rolling in memories of my visit to Hobart, partly because am now writing some articles for Owner Builder on houses I saw there.

  4. Hi Sharyn, your blog was introduced to me by a friend of yours I met a couple of days ago here in Hobart. I’m very much enjoying your writing and nature photography!

  5. Hi Denis,
    Yes it was more like that than anything else I have yet found in a book or online, but still not the same. Great close-up shots!
    Also it is too remote here for a feral ‘pet’ I’d expect?

  6. I see you are both talking about me, behind my back!
    Enough of that, please :-))
    Great Stick Insect there, Sharyn.
    It might be a popular “pet”, the Laboratory or Indian Stick Insect – Carausius morosus .
    Not sure, but I have photographed one which was sold to a school kid as a “pet”. Its head looked a bit different, but the flattened leg segments certainly look right.
    Check down that blog post, below the flowers, to the Stick insect.

  7. Thanks Gaye; and I knew you didn’t mean to imply I am bearded, or not as heavily as Denis! But yes this was a treat to spot.

    (Denis’ great blog is The Nature of Robertson – see link)

  8. How absolutely fabulous, Denis. I suppose it is the successful design why we don’t see these creatures very often in the wild, but, oh, I do wish I could find some.

    Thank you so much for sharing this fascinating Phasmid.


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