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Mothers kick their seed-like eggs to the forest floor which are collected by ants and taken to their nest where they are protected until they hatch.

Description: These insects mimic the leaves on which they feed. Females are brown or green and covered with thorn-like spikes for defence and camouflage. Males are smaller, only growing up to 11 cm, and are brown or sometimes pale green. They only have spikes around the head but have long wings and are good fliers.

Diet: Spiny Leaf Insects are herbivores, usually feeding on the eucalyptus trees that live in.

In the wild: Spiny Leaf Insects avoid predators by camouflaging on branches among leaves. When threatened, they arch their tail above their bodies towards the intruder much like a scorpion. Baby Spiny Leaf Insects look similar to ants, avoiding predation by birds. Their colour becomes brown- green once they begin feeding on leaves.

Did you Know?

These attractive insects out-source parenting to ants who collect their seed-like eggs and take them back to their nest where they are protected until they hatch.

Nocturnal House
Other Name/s
Fly Giant Prickly Stick Insect, Australian Walking Stick
Scientific Name
Extatosoma tiaratum
Conservation Status
Not Evaluated
Body Length
Up to 20 cm
5-8 months
Number of Eggs
Up to 1000
Queensland and New South Wales, Australia
Trees and bushes
extraMile by Integranet