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 Phasmatodea order, of which there are approximately 3,000 species.
Stick insect species, often called walking sticks, range in size from the tiny, half-inch-long Timema cristinae of North America, to the formidable 13-inch-long Phobaeticus kirbyi of Borneo. This giant measures over 21 inches with its legs outstretched, making it one of the world’s longest insects. Females are normally larger than males.
Phasmids generally mimic their surroundings in color, normally green or brown, although some species are brilliantly colored and others conspicuously striped. Many stick insects have wings, some