Category Archives: mimicry and crypsis

Readers’ wildlife photos

Reader/biologist Jacques Hausser from Switzerland sends us another batch of lovely orthopterans (see here and here for parts I and II). Jacques’s notes are indented: The third group of Orthopterans, the grasshoppers sensu stricto (suborder Caelifera) can be easily told apart from the Ensifera (bushcrickets/katydids and crickets) by their rather short and sturdy antennae and […]

Monday: Hili dialogue

Good morning on a snowy Monday (January 15, 2018); I’ll have some snow pictures shortly. It’s holiday in the U.S. since it’s Martin Luther King Day (always the third Monday in January, and, as you’ll see below, it’s also King’s actual birthday). Here’s today’s Google Doodle about King. Here are the final minutes of King’s […]

A Müllerian mimicry ring

Professor Ceiling Cat continues to be distressed at the lack of interest (reflected in comments, at least) on the science posts: those posts that are the hardest to write. Nevertheless, he persists. Here is a likely example of aposematic (warningly colored) mimics in different orders of insects having evolved to resemble each other (tweet courtesy […]

Frog and snake: mimicry or not?

Julius Csotonyi, described by Wikipedia as a Canadian “paleoartist” (illustrator of ancient life) and a natural history illustrator, has done some fantastic artwork, including producing dinosaur images for Canadian coins. You can see a lot of his art at his website. But now Csotonyi may have detected a case of Batesian mimicry between a tree frog […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

Reader Tony Eales from Oz sent us some mimics; his words are indented. (See yesterday’s post on mantid flies.) I photographed a couple of wild mimics yesterday. First was a large Mantis Fly, Euclimacia nuchalis, mimicking a large brown paper-wasp similar to this wasp. Here’s the fly: And the wasp (not Tony’s photo): Also yet another ant-mimicking […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

Thanks to all for sending in photos, and remember that I’m always looking for good new ones. The first one today, sent by reader Hempenstein, shows a brown inchworm from Vermont, the larva of a geometrid moth. The resemblance to a twig is stunning: Perhaps Lou Jost in Ecuador can help with this one, but […]

Here’s the katydid!

Did you find it? Here’s the original picture by Siggy, followed by the reveal, and then a photo of the insect on the lumber where he found it and on the lichen it seems to mimic. Original: Reveal: On a board: On lichen: Siggy added this: I found this PDF that seems to describe the same […]

Adorable (and cryptic) golden plover chicks

As usual, Matthew Cobb is the fount of all animal tw**ts. Here are two good ones: chicks of what I guess to be the European golden plover, Pluvialis apricaria. Very late golden plover hatchlings. Still beautiful! #fieldwork pic.twitter.com/yDBIxhTF0O — Camilo Carneiro (@Camilo_Carneiro) July 16, 2017 I have no idea whether this is camouflage for a mossy […]

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