- The Animal Encyclopedia for Kids

Walking Leaf

Walking Leaf Facts

Size 0.9-4.7 in (24-120 mm)
Speed Unknown
Weight Unknown
Lifespan Unknown
Food Leaves, plants, fruits
Predators Amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals
Habitat Tropical and subtropical regions
Order Ghost insects
Family Phylliidae
Subfamily Walking leaves
Scientific name Phylliidae
Characteristics Body that looks like a leaf

Main Characteristics

Walking leaves are insects that look very similar to leaves. Most of them live in the tropical regions of Southeast Asia. In accordance with their habitat, walking leaves are mostly brown or green, some slightly speckled or have serrated edges like nibbled leaves. Even their legs look like little leaves.

Anatomy and Appearance

Why Do They Look Like Leaves?

It is not easy to distinguish the animals from leaves or twigs. And this is exactly what they are aiming at as they are not very good at defending themselves. Thanks to their appearance they are nearly invisible to their enemies.

Walking Leaf Walking Leaf - Photo: Aleksey Stemmer/Shutterstock


What Do Walking Leaves Eat?

The diet of walking leaves comprises the food they are so passionately mimicking: Leaves. They particularly love the leaves of guava and cocoa plants as well as mango trees.


How Do Walking Leaves Move?

When moving they sway to and fro like leaves in the wind. Yet, they spend most of the day just motionlessly sitting on a branch. They only get active during the night.

Walking Leaf Walking Leaf - Photo: Aedka Studio/Shutterstock

Senses and Abilities

Are Walking Leaves Able to Fly?

Female walking leaves cannot fly. Males can fly short distances thanks to their well-developed hind wings.

Walking Leaves Can Regrow Legs

The arms and legs of walking leaves can regenerate. As soon as the animals have shed their skin, new little legs (or arms) will show up. After a short while they will have grown to their full length again.

Walking Leaves as Pets

Walking leaves make great pets. They're rather undemanding, and it is great fun to watch them. They can be kept in a terrarium and fed with blackberry, oak, and rose leaves. As the animals do not lose any skin flakes, there are hardly any problems with allergies. In our pet section you will learn how to keep walking leaves!

Walking Leaf Walking Leaf - Photo: Pe3k/Shutterstock


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