Get smart curated videos delivered to your inbox.   SUBSCRIBE
The Kid Should See This

Leaf Mimic Katydids: Uniquely disguised as dead & diseased leaves

[noindex]Like the Uropyia meticulodina,[/noindex] this Leaf Mimic Katydid really commits to its ability to hide in plain sight. Filmed in the in the Ecuadorian Amazon’s Yasuni National Park, it’s holding as still as possible. From Krulwich Wonders:

They’re not content to just look like a plain green leaf. “That would be too easy,” says entomologist and wildlife photographer Piotr Naskrecki. “No, their bodies are perfect replicas of leaves that have been chewed up, torn, rotten, dried up, partially decayed, or covered by fungi. Some even have fake holes in their wings (fake, because the holes are in fact thin, translucent parts of the wing membrane.)”

…This isn’t, by the way, a standard act of mime. You won’t find thousands of katydids with the exact same bite-on-the-edge look. “No two individuals are alike,” says Piotr Naskrecki. In fact, “you can find individuals whose appearance is so dramatically different that one would feel justified to place them in different species.” But they’re not. These are, you should excuse the expression, artists: individuals pretending, in their very different ways, to be a leaf.

Because it’s the internet, someone put one on a turntable so that we could get a good 360 degree look at it:

Here’s another: Pterochroza ocellata, a peacock katydid that integrates more of the dead or diseased leaf look into it’s disguise:

[noindex]There are more leaf disguises on Treehugger. In the archives: the leaf-tailed geckos of Madagascar, the Robust Ghost Pipefish’s camouflage, and the leaf-like Uropyia meticulodina.[/noindex]

This Webby award-winning video collection exists to help teachers, librarians, and families spark kid wonder and curiosity. TKSST features smarter, more meaningful content than what's usually served up by YouTube's algorithms, and amplifies the creators who make that content.

Curated, kid-friendly, independently-published. Support this mission by becoming a sustaining member today.