Category Archives: mimicry

Moth mimics bird poop

Okay, is everyone ready for footie? Yes, I thought so. But we still have nearly an hour, so let’s have a bit of biology. We all love mimicry, and if you’re a regular here you’ve seen all kinds of it, including many animals (insects, frogs, spiders, and so on) that look like bird droppings. Those droppings […]

Spot the nightjars!

[JAC: Here we go again! I can't stop the man. . . But don't spoil it in the comments just yet; you can say if you've found it, but all will be revealed in time ] by Matthew Cobb Two for the price of one, both posted by @ProjectNightjar on Tw*tter. The first is pretty […]

Spot the wood frog

by Greg Mayer Well, it’s not that hard to spot, but you can see how the wood frog (Rana sylvatica) is aptly named. My Minnesota correspondent found this fellow along Caribou Trail (a road) and Jonvick Creek near Lutsen, Cook County, Minnesota, about a half mile from the north shore of Lake Superior, on 10 […]

Remarkable mimicry in seahorses and pipefish

Here are some of the most bizarre creatures that live in the sea, and some of the world’s most spectacular example of mimicy. This is a video by “Bubble Vision,” described as “Part 7 of my documentary, ‘Mucky Secrets’, about the fascinating marine creatures of the Lembeh Strait in Indonesia.” Note the bits about reverse […]

Readers’ wildlife photos (and a video); including “spot the bittern”

Reader Diane G., an avid birder, hasn’t, so far as I recall, sent any photos in, but she’s rectified that with today’s contribution: a video and a photo of the American Woodcock (Scolopax minor). Her notes: It was an unexpected thrill to witness this guy’s foraging behavior, and I was extremely lucky to get a nice vid […]

Fantastic and plastic mimicry in a tropical vine

Well if this doesn’t beat all!  There are flowers that mimic insects, and insects that mimic flowers, and even plants that mimic stones (Lithops) to hide them from predators, but this is the first time I’ve heard of a plant mimicking another plant. Not only that, but the mimic, a vine, can modify its leaves […]

The spider that looks like a plant

by Matthew Cobb This fantastic picture popped into my Tw*tter feed. It was taken by Kurt, a nature/macro photographer based in Kuala Lumpur. It is reproduced with permission and can be found on the spider page of his great website – that page also includes ant-mimic spiders mating (a terrible tangle of legs)! What exactly […]

Three amazing examples of camouflage (no nightjars)

JAC: Thank Ceiling Cat that Matthew has—at least temporarily—gone off cryptic nightjars. But he’s still fascinated by mimicry, and gives us several nice examples. I had no idea that there were leaf fish, and the modification of their behavior is as impressive as the modification of their shape and color (and that eye stripe is […]

Here’s the ptarmigan

I am back in Chicago, and Matthew asked me to post the solution to “Where’s the Ptarmigan [read "nightjar'] post. Here it is: by Matthew Cobb A tough one – you couldn’t enlarge the photo, and the bird was some way away. But I managed to spot it! Kate said to me on FB: “It […]

Spot the nightjar—the video

OMG; I can’t believe I’m putting up yet another “spot the nightjar” post! Blame it not on me, but on Professor Cobb, especially if you fail at spotting the nightjars! (I’m starting to think that Cobb has an obsession with these birds.) by Matthew Cobb The good folks at Project Nightjar at Exeter and Cambridge […]


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