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 cool).
In fact, these are all great examples which I intend to steal for my lectures on mimicry. But on to Matthew’s post:
by Matthew Cobb
These three examples of animal camouflage have popped up in my Tw*tter feed over the past few days.
First, these amazing Amazonian Leaf Fish. I’m not sure who took the original photo. It was credited on Tw*tter by @MostlyOpenOcean to one David R, a NZ fish fiend who’s building an amazing Amazonian tank, but it also appears here. Can the original photographer step forward to be credited?
Amazonian Leaf Fish are really vicious ambush predators, as this video shows (sorry about the subtitles, though some readers might appreciate them):
Next, the amazing Bird Poo Frog, Theloderma asperum, snapped by Jodi Rowley. See her amazing photos here:
According to Wikipedia (so it MUST be true), this frog is also known as the pied warty frog or the hill garden bug-eyed frog. It’s about 3 cm long, lives in tree hollows in south-east Asia and is not on any endangered list (other than being vulnerable to the chytrid fungus that is threatening all amphibian populations). According to the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, it is rarely seen in nature.
Finally, I give you this excellent snake which is in fact a caterpillar – apparently the Hemeroplanes triptolemus caterpillar, which lives in Mexico, Central and South America. The snake head is formed by the underside (ventral surface) of the caterpillar’s head. Photo by Carolina Gutiérrez C.: