As its name suggests, the stick insect resembles the twigs among which it lives, providing it with one of the most efficient natural camouflages on Earth. It and the equally inconspicuous leaf insect comprise the Phasmida order, of which there are approximately 3,000 species.
Phasmids generally mimic their surroundings in colour, normally green or brown, although some species are brilliantly coloured and others conspicuously striped. Many stick insects have wings, some spectacularly beautiful, while others resemble little more than a stump. A number of species have spines and tubercles on their bodies.
Average life span in the wild: Up to 3 years
Size: 0.46 to 12.9 in (11.6 to 328 mm)
Did you know? Stick insects are part of the Phasmida order, the name of which is derived from a Greek word meaning “apparition.”
Never miss a Nat Geo moment
Join our curious community and you'll have access to some great features!
Personalised content reflecting your interests on the site
Watch exclusive videos before anyone else
Favourite content that you like or want to check out later
Free SMS and Email reminders so you never miss a show
Get notified when content that interests you is published
Share your photos on Snap! that could appear on TV
Share your thoughts and opinions on various matters
Receive a monthly newsletter with loads of great content