Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Camouflage - II

In one of my earlier posts, I'd described how I stumbled on a leaf insect. Well, it seems like leaf insects are dime a dozen. One just needs to look through their cunning camouflage.
The other day, I spotted this green leaf insect resting on my Sweet Basil plant. Its spindly legs were the exact hue and appearance of a thin woody basil stem, while other parts of its body bore the illusion of mottled basil leaves.
Spot Me If You Can
 Green Leaf Insect Wandering Violin Mantis
in Belly-up Position
The next morning I went to check on the insect, not quite expecting to still find it. I was in for a big surprise, when not only did I find my original green leaf insect, I also found two other brown leaf insects. All three insects were pressed against each other. My theory is that the two brown ones were males who were fighting for the lone green female. In the evening, I found one of the brown insects all by himself in a corner, while the other brown chap was sticking to the green one. Isn't that how it usually is in the animal kingdom.
There are 3 of Us Here: One Green and Two Brown
In a Tussle?
I now believe that I've probably brushed past many a leaf insect without a second glance, owing to its brilliant camouflage.

PS: I'm off on holiday, so you may not hear from me for a while. 

Update: I had incorrectly identified the above insects as Leaf Insects. I believe the insect is actually the Wandering Violin Mantis.


  1. They are turly bizarre. The stuff od Science Fiction. Just imagine if they were 100 times the size - frightening! I wonder how many generations it takes for an insect to evolve to that state...

    Have a nice holiday!

  2. We have a similar version called 'Praying Mantis'. They are a garden helper, eating the bothersome bugs and some gardeners actually order them to put in their gardens. You captured some great photo's of them!

  3. Mantis's are predatory. They not only eat other insects but are cannibals as well. Don't be surprised if your brown ones disappear after mating.

  4. oh wow. the camouflage is so perfect.

  5. Perfect camouflage! You got some great photos!

  6. hi anita, i'm going to be in chennai the weekend of jan7th and coincidentally there is a walk in the senmozhi poonga on sat morning organized by nizhal.. would you like to come along? it will be nice to meet up! :)

  7. Hi Arati, Shall certainly try and meet up at Senmozhi Poonga.

  8. Interesting insects! Enjoy your holidays.

  9. Hi Anita...glad to know you're back from your holiday. Just read Arati's comment...wow, that's going to be wonderful! And thank you for your comment on my blog today.:))) Wishing you and your family the best for the New Year!

  10. Wonderful photographs. Loved that Insect photographs. I have never seen one so far.
    Thanks a lot.

    And the Vizag scenery is captured so well.I enjoyed visitng most of those places while on tour!

    Unable to comment from Gardenerat60, Just do not know why!

  11. An informative post.. I had to prepare an insect box in college. I hunted hard but couldn't find these leaf insects and stick insects (which resemble twigs) and finally ended up buying them (I was also actually scared to catch them!!! They are so scary...)