Camouflage: the nature’s gift.

veiled chameleon

Camouflage & Mimicry in animals

  Many living creatures, birds, sea and land creatures, and even many plants and flowers use natural weapons for their survival and hunting.  When an animal changes or adapts its colour according to its environment to increase its survival, it is known as camouflage.  In the same way, if an organism uses its body parts to act as another organism or take on a different form, it is called Mimicry.  Both aim to save their lives and hunt properly.

Camouflage in insects:

It is a defensive technique used by insects to merge with their surroundings.

1. Thorn Bug:

It is found in tropical regions of South America, Mexico and the US state of Florida where the temperature is usually above zero degrees.  The prickly shape protects it from other animals. It does not bite humans, but it does harm plants by sucking their sap.

2. Leaf Insect:

A harmless insect, found in parts of Australia, South Asia and Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, etc.).  Its body looks like a plant leaf.  Not only this but when it moves it looks like the leaf is blowing in the wind. So predators consider it as a leaf and avoid it.2

3. Giant Swallowtail Caterpillar:

It is the larva of the largest butterfly in North America, which looks like a bird’s droppings and deter predators from thinking that it’s just a piece of bird poop.

4. Stick Bug

It looks like dry twigs of a plant.  This harmless insect is native to warm regions and is found mostly in South East Asian countries, South America and Australia.  Roundabout 300 species have been discovered so far in Borneo (the largest island in Asia).

5. Orchid Mantis

This insect is found only in Southeast Asian countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, etc.).  Mantis is the bravest insects in the world. Its body looks like a flower and attracts different insects for due to its bright colour and kills them.

6. Dead Leaf Butterfly

It is found in India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Thailand, and Taiwan. When in danger, it closes its wings and looks and falls like a dry leaf.  It was also seen in Pakistan in 2000.

7. Common Baron Caterpillar

It is found in Sri Lanka, India and South Asian countries.  It camouflages its body on green leaves to hide itself from predators and due to its body color, it is very difficult to find.

8. Buff Tip Moth

It is found in Asia and Europe. When at rest, it looks like a piece of twig broken from a tree.

9. Wrap around spider

The wrap around spider is found in Australia.  With the help of its long legs and flat body, it wraps itself around a tree branch.

10. Mottle Sand Grasshopper

It is found in the dry grasslands of the United States and Canada.  It knows to blend and match its body according to the color of clay and sand grains.  This grasshopper is very harmful to local crops, especially wheat.

Mimicking insects:

11. Snake-Mimic Caterpillar

It is found in Amazon and when disturbed, expands its body, retracts its legs and mimics a snake to ward off its predators.  

12. Owl Butterfly

The owl butterfly is found in the forests of Mexico and South America.  Its body has huge spot resembling the eye spot of an owl that confuses the predators.

13. Pseudo Scorpion

A pseudo scorpion is a small arachnid that looks like a miniature scorpion. It mimics a scorpion in order to protect itself from ants and other harmful insects with its scary body.  13

14. Ant Mimicking Spider

Yes, it is not an ant, but a spider that disguises itself as an ant. These spiders are found in Africa, Australia and some parts of Asia.

15. Wasp Beetle

It looks like a dangerous wasp but is a completely harmless insect.  It also moves like a caterpillar so that no other insect disturbs it while collecting pollen.  They are common in gardens in England.

16. Lady Bug Mimicking Spider;

It is a spider that mimics a ladybug so that it can protect itself from predators as many birds do not eat ladybugs because their body is bitter and unpalatable to them.  So, the spider that advantage of this fact and mimic the ladybug.

17. Humming Bird moth

Hummingbird moths mimic the hummingbirds and like hummingbirds, they hover and move side to side on a flower.  This mimicking technique is used to fool birds and other insects as they consider them hummingbirds and avoid eating it.

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