Ian Lockwood


Leaf Insects in the Monsoon

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Leaf insect (Phyllium bioculatum) shot with a Hasselblad 503 CE & 120 mm lens

Leaf insect (Phyllium bioculatum) shot with a Hasselblad 503 CE & 120 mm lens

The leaf insects (Phyllium bioculatum) that I have been raising thanks to eggs provided by Haris Dharmasiri are doing exceedingly well. Haris’ own cage was overpopulated and he generously provided several adults. I now have about 6 adult females and about a dozen others of various sizes. The females, with the aid of one lonely male, have been laying plenty of eggs. They feed on guava leaves that I refresh every three or four days. I’m not sure about how the eggs will survive since their procreation is based on an incestuous relationship (they all came from the same mother). Unfortunately, I can’t keep some of them at school since they periodically spray insecticides to suppress mosquitoes. We’re trying to get that stopped but meanwhile, OSC is an unfriendly environment for Phyllium bioculatum!

Leaf insect (Phyllium bioculatum) female silhouette

Leaf insect (Phyllium bioculatum) female silhouette

The first picture was taken with the Hasselblad 503CE with my (new) secondhand 120 mm lens fitted with an extension E-16 tube. The film is Fujicolor Superia 100, which was developed and scanned by the Kodak digital lab here in Colombo. Overall, I was not overly impressed with scan results although the negative is sharp and clean. I am looking forward to developing and printing the black & white version of this image. The second and third images were taken with the standard 105mm Nikon macro mounted on a D-200…a combination that is hard to beat with film.

Male on female leaf insect (Phyllium bioculatum)

Male on female leaf insect (Phyllium bioculatum)

Written by ianlockwood

2008-09-08 at 5:58 pm

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  1. Hi Ian,

    They are great pictures. I kept a range of stick insects when I was at school and always wanted to ‘move on to’ leaf insects but they were just not available in/to the UK. Now my sons are interested and I hope to source some eggs and set up a suitable tank for them.
    Do you have a record of teh relative humidity day and night where you are and temperature range for day and night? I think these are key aspects and there is more equipment around that should help achieve their ideal conditions required.

    best regards,


    Michael Blake

    2008-12-09 at 4:47 pm

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