This female specimen of leaf insect (Phyllium siccifolium) belongs to the collections of the Craveri brothers and it is very probably the result of exchanges with a dear friend of Federico’s, the famous Swiss entomologist and explorer Henri de Saussure. Leaf insects originate from the south-east Asia and are one of the most remarkable examples of cryptic mimicry in the animal world. Beside the shape these Phasmids also get the typical green colour of leaves; this feature is no longer visible in this specimen dating back to over 150 million of years ago because it has bleached over time. Males are generally smaller and slimmer and have much longer feelers. Besides, unlike females, they can fly. In addition to their extraordinary mimicry abilities another characteristic common to all Phasmids (which therefore occurs both in leaf and stick insects) is the females’ ability to generate eggs by parthenogenesis. These eggs have not been inseminated by males and will only produce female individuals, In leaf insects eggs also blend in with the surrounding environment looking like small seeds. After the hatching, the brown-reddish nymphs climb on tree where they start feeding on leaves and they become green as time passes.