Camouflaging, in general, is the imitation of the surroundings or staying in a location where their outward appearance perfectly blends in with the environment. There are a lot of insects that use camouflaging in the wild (and maybe even in your households) as a way to keep themselves hidden from predators and people.
Don’t worry; if you call pest control, even camouflaging insects can’t hide from them.
Still, it’s pretty amazing what these creatures can do. Take a look at the following insects and their amazing skills in hiding.
The dead leaf butterfly, also known as the orange oakleaf butterfly (Kallima inachus), is a nymphalid butterfly that is found in tropical Asia from India to Japan. It gets its name from resembling a dry leaf with dark veins when its wings are closed. When its wings are open, on the other hand, the forewings exhibit a black apex, and orange disc band and a deep blue base.
Walking leaf insect is an insect from the family Phylliidae that is famous for perfectly mimicking the appearance of a leaf. They do this perfectly so predators will have a hard distinguishing them from leaves. Some species of walking insects’ bodies even have “bite marks” to further confuse predators. They also rock back and forth when walking to mimic a real leaf being blown by the wind.
Flower mantises are a species of praying mantis that mimic flowers. Unlike other insects that use camouflaging as a method to hide from preys, flower mantises use this form of camouflaging called aggressive mimicry. Aggressive mimicry is defined as a form of camouflage where a predator’s colors and patterns lure prey.
Just like the flower mantis, the dead leaf mantis is another type of praying mantis. It got its name from mimicking dead leaves. There are various species of dead leaf mantises (and are often treated as pets), and they include the giant dead leaf mantis, Malaysian dead leaf mantis, and Philippines dead leaf mantis.
Katydids are known for their ability to mimic their natural surroundings, and the lichen katydid is no different from its relatives. This newly found specie of katydids, which was first discovered at around 2012 in a small number of locations in northern Queensland, looks like a lichen-encrusted branch. It admittedly has high details of structure and color and are speculated to be found on lichen-covered branches of higher trees.
If you have watched the animated film The Bugs’ Life, you’ll encounter a walking insect there. Stick insects, sometimes called the walking sticks, resemble twigs – making it one of the most efficient natural camouflage insects on Earth. Their species can range from the half-inch-long Timema cristinae of North America to the formidable Phobaeticus kirbyi of Borneo. Aside from blending in with the environment, stick insects also feign death to fool predators, while some will shed occasional limbs to escape from an enemy’s grasp.
Aside from the fact that they feed on plants, these camouflaging insects don’t pose too much threat inside human homes. However, they would probably prefer not to be inside your house as well, where they can clearly be seen.