Category Archives: mimicry and crypsis

Readers’ wildlife photos

Reader Tony Eales from Queensland sent a spider and a beetle, both mimicking ants. His notes are indented. Came across another ant mimicking jumping spider. I seriously thought it was an ant until I got the camera on it. One of the gurus from the Australian Arachnid Photography page reckons it’s Myrmarachne erythrocephala. It’s clearly […]

Guess the mimic

From entomologist/photographer Alex Wild, courtesy of Matthew Cobb: This is not an ant. pic.twitter.com/Kj8Z9Pvs8G — Alex Wild (@Myrmecos) June 3, 2017

Two remarkable cases of mimicry

Both of these cases were found by Matthew Cobb on Twi**er, and I’ve enlarged the photos at the bottom: A pile of broken sticks: 2 Buff-tip Moths. NW Worcestershire, 27 May 2017. #teammoth pic.twitter.com/XewN1qeBBl — Moths & Mothing (@j_sparey) May 28, 2017 and Leaf Katydid (Phyllomimus sp., Pseudophyllinae, Tettigoniidae)https://t.co/wsKV1K1pkn #insect #China #itchydogimages #entomology pic.twitter.com/6iDP96h9nN — […]

Why aren’t there more green butterflies?

Matthew found this question on the BBC’s Discover Wildlife site; click on the screenshot below to the “answer”, which I reproduce below. The picture is of the green hairstreak (Callophrys rubi), Britain’s only green butterfly. First, though, this species is not completely green—the color is only on the bottom of the wings, which it folds as shown, […]

A spider that mimics a beetle

Matthew Cobb sent me another remarkable case of mimicry, revealed in this tweet: Remember how we talked about ant mimic spiders? Well this jumping spider is a beetle mimic! Photo: G.Anderson https://t.co/34K6B4qHws pic.twitter.com/RcSnGCZIpZ — realscientists (@realscientists) May 5, 2017 The link leads to an article on the Arachne.org.au site that gives this information under the heading […]

Moths that may mimic spiders

Since it’s Darwin Day, I’ve featured only evolution-related issues, and let’s finish with some amazing pictures by photographer and entomologist Gil Wizen, taken from his eponymous website (with permission; note that he also has a Twitter page and a Facebook page).  (N.b.: the photos are used with permission and cannot be reproduced further.) In a post called “Petrophilia“, […]

Here’s the insect!

Here’s the answer to “What’s that insect?“, via Twitter. Thanks to Matthew Cobb for sussing this out. Yes, it’s a hemipteran (a “true bug”) in the genus Formiscurra (F. indicus), and it’s also a planthopper that’s an ant mimic. Notice the fake head in front of the real head! Allow me to introduce you to #Formiscurra indicus, […]

Here’s the reptile! (It’s a gecko)

Earlier today I put up a tw**t from Ollie Wearn that had this picture in it. Your job was to find the reptile. Did you? Here it is: And enlargements from Ollie’s recent tweet: Yes, folks, it’s a leaf-tailed gecko in the genus Uroplatus, and one cryptic mother! Members of this genus are some of […]

Book on bees of the world has a mimetic fly on the cover – update

Matthew Cobb, who does social media, called my attention to a post today by environmentalist and writer Brigid Strawbridge; it’s about a book on the world’s bees. Here it is. Notice anything strange? Hint: count the wings: Bees, in the order Hymenoptera, have four wings, like this: What we see above on the cover of Bees […]

Frog defense: hiding, fighting, or both

JAC: Instead of “Readers’ Wildlife” today, we’ll have a report on frogs by Greg Mayer, who’s just visited Costa Rica. by Greg Mayer Although quite cryptic on the forest floors it calls home, the smoky jungle frog (Leptodactylus pentadactylus) in the photo below is too obvious to be a candidate for “spot the frog”. This […]