D. desiccata takes its common name from its resemblance to dead, leafy vegetation including having a flattened, greatly extended thorax and “intricate leaf patterns” on its wings.This insect varies in color from mottled brown through “pale orangey brown” to a very dark brown that is almost black.As its common name indicates, D. desiccata is larger than other species of dead leaf mantis. Females grow to 75–80 mm long. Displaying the sexual dimorphism typical of mantises, males grow only 65–70 mm long and are substantially smaller and lighter than females. Females’ prothorax shields end in a sharp pointed curve on each side while the males have a rounder shape. According to one source, males tend to be more “yellowish” than the darker females.