Friday, November 12, 2010

Experts in camouflage

One of the largest and most common katydids in northern Queensland is also one of the most seldom seen. The Spiny Tree Katydid (Phricta spinosa) has excellent camouflage and positions itself motionless on tree trunks through the day to avoid detection by visual predators. The specimen pictured below was beside a rainforest walking track, where I witnessed tourist after tourist wander by within 40cm of the katydid looking for nature, but obviously not looking hard enough...

The Spiny Tree Katydid resting on a small tree adjacent to the walking track.

A close-up of the head of the katydid. The spines, colour and pattern all help to break up the outline of the animal resulting in excellent camouflage.

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