Disguise in Nature: A lively 'leaf' with legs
By Xu Chenlu

Wandering in mountains and bushes and taking photos of different insects is quite enjoyable, especially when one stumbles upon a leaf insect. It is indeed a rare find!

Information about leaf insect. /CGTN Graphic

Information about leaf insect. /CGTN Graphic

As one of the most talented masters of disguise in the animal kingdom, leaf insect can camouflage itself by taking on the appearance of leaves – thus the name.

In order to perfectly mimic a leaf so the predators can not distinguish it from a real leaf, some leaf insects even evolve some marks on the edge of their bodies to pretend this piece of "leaf" has been bitten by insects.

Certainly, an insect could not stay at one place without moving to another for its entire life. And what if the camouflage is destroyed by its movements? The leaf insect has thus developed another skill: rocking back and forth while walking. This way its movement looks like a leaf being blowing in the wind.

Many are fascinated by the insect's ability to camouflage, hence they are hunted and traded as pets.

About the 'Disguise in Nature' series

Camouflage and mimicry are two ways for creatures to disguise themselves. Disguises can either help them escape danger, or make them perfect predators when hunting.

In this series, we are going to look at several species that are masters of disguise. For each story, there will be a game of hide and seek with the introduced species. 

Read more from the 'Disguise in Nature' series:

Disguise in Nature: The colorful 'kung fu masters'

Disguise in Nature: The 'ninja' in sea

Disguise in Nature: The forest's 'night hunter'

Disguise in Nature: The 'hermit' in rainforest

(Cover image via VCG, designed by CGTN's Li Yueyun)

(Information image via VCG, designed by CGTN's Chen Yuyang )

(If you want to contribute and have specific expertise, please contact us at nature@cgtn.com.)

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