Igor Siwanowicz is a Polish-born biologist who works as a technical assistant in behavioral genetics at the Max Planck institute of Neurobiology in Munich. He’s also a world class nature photographer, specializing in macro photography of animals. I especially love his mantises. Here are some of his images (click to enlarge); you can see many more at the Blepharopsis website—the word is a genus of mantids—or in his book Animals Up Close (a nice Xmas gift for a budding biologist).
The first is Idolomantis diabolica, a mantis that mimics a flower. It sits quietly on a plant, arms extended as in the picture. A credulous pollinator flies into the middle, expecting a pollen and nectar treat, and . . .
Here’s another flower mimic, the orchid mantis, sculpted by natural selection to fool its prey.
How he does it: