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Those considering a leaf insect as a pet are bound to have some questions as to whether or not this is actually a good idea. For example, is natural for the uninitiated to wonder if these insects are dangerous, especially considering that there are some exotic pets that can be just that. The good news is that leaf insects are not dangerous, in fact, these are docile creatures that actually make interesting pets.
Are Leaf Insects Poisonous?
Leaf insects are not poisonous to humans. While other insects might use a toxin or poison to ward off predators, leaf insects greatest defense comes in their appearance and the fact that they look exactly like leaves.
These insects are typically a bright green color, although some will appear more brown than green, or a duller green. Some even have what appear to be bite marks around the edges of their body with brown markings to make it look as though the area has decayed. Their mimicry of real leaves is so convincing that they are often mistaken by other insects as food.
Do Leaf Insects Bite?
Parents thinking about getting a leaf insect as a starter pet for their child will naturally have many questions before doing so. One such question is whether or not these insects bite. Although these creatures are docile and gentle, there is a small chance that they will nip if feeling threatened. Nevertheless, they are highly unlikely to break human skin, and it is generally only the larger types of leaf insect that use this method of defending themselves.
For the most part, leaf insects rely on the fact that they do not look appetizing to carnivorous predators. Not only do they resemble leaves in appearance, but they also look exactly like a leaf blowing in the wind when they are moving about thanks to the stop-start way they walk.
If you are considering a leaf insect as a pet for yourself or a child, know that these creatures are not dangerous or poisonous. In fact, they are fascinating to observe and make wonderful starter pets for children as they are low maintenance and inexpensive to look after.
- Featured Image (Phyllium jacobsoni): Drägüs – the copyright holder of this work released this work into the public domain.
- Phyllium westwoodii: Daniel Dittmar – This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.
- Phyllium giganteum: Drägüs – This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license.
- Phyllium bioculatum: Public domain.