Phyllium philippinicum, often known as the leaf insect, is an outstanding and highly sought-after species of stick insect. Both stick and leaf insects are part of the Phasmatidae family, and this particular species stands out for its exquisite anatomy which enables it to blend seamlessly into the lush green landscapes of its homeland, the Philippines. This insect thrives in the country’s tropical rainforests, particularly on the islands of Luzon, Mindanao, and Samar. Being endemic to the Philippines, the leaf insect exists naturally only within this specific geographical area. Adaptations to the rich diversity of the Philippine forest ecosystems have ensured this species is well adapted to the local conditions and flora. Newborn leaf insects appear as dark brown nymphs, but they quickly grow into large, living leaves that come in shades of green, yellow, or orange. These fascinating creatures can reach lengths of approximately 4 inches, with males typically being a bit smaller and exhibiting a slim, “streamlined” physique. While the Phasmatidae family are generally low-maintenance pets, the Phyllium philippinicum does require a bit more care than most of its counterparts. Optimal housing consists of a spacious, well-ventilated mesh enclosure, with humidity levels maintained around 70% and temperature ranging from 75°F to 85°F (24°C to 29°C). Their preference for high humidity levels means that a bioactive setup, featuring a soil or coco-coir substrate and decorations such as cork bark, twigs, and rocks, is ideal. Leaf insects are easy to handle, boasting a docile and placid temperament. Pet owners should, however, be mindful to handle them gently and calmly, using a brush if needed. Their diet consists of bramble leaves, oak leaves, rose leaves, and guava leaves, and it’s important to ensure that all food is thoroughly washed to eliminate any potential pesticide contamination. Distinct from many other phasmids, leaf insects are not parthenogenetic (asexual) and therefore need both male and female members of the species to produce fertile eggs. As such, they are less prolific breeders compared to other species. Overall, leaf insects present a fascinating pet option, one we highly recommend all insect enthusiasts consider at least once.