Camouflaged mantis, Empusa egena, on gorse branch

Camouflaged mantis, Empusa egena, on gorse branch

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Credit: CLAUDE NURIDSANY & MARIE PERENNOU/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Mantis camouflage. The mantis Empusa egena as seen on a gorse branch. Empusa egena relies on its own camouflage to escape predators or to trap prey. Its wings are undeveloped; its body colours resemble twigs or dead leaves; and there are plant-like protruberances on its head, legs and abdomen. Its behaviour is to move slowly and carefully and so not be detected, or to remain quite still. The imitation of plants by animals is called phytomimesis. Empusa egena is a southern European species of mantis.

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Keywords: animal, camouflage, crested, empusa, empusa egena, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, mantis, mimicry, nature, phytomimesis, type, wildlife, zoology

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