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Dead-leaf mimic mantis (Miracanthops sp.) hanging upside-down at night near Iquitos, Peru I was very proud to spot this mantis from a few feet away at night. It looked like a bit of vegetation, obviously, but something about it didn't quite look like a bit of vegetation that belonged there. Only when I got very close did I recognize the mantis legs. Geotagged,Mantis,Peru,Summer Click/tap to enlarge Promoted

Dead-leaf mimic mantis (Miracanthops sp.) hanging upside-down at night near Iquitos, Peru

I was very proud to spot this mantis from a few feet away at night. It looked like a bit of vegetation, obviously, but something about it didn't quite look like a bit of vegetation that belonged there. Only when I got very close did I recognize the mantis legs.

    comments (10)

  1. Glad you shared it, John, truly spectacular! Although a completely different creature, it reminds me of this:

    Satanic Leaf Tailed Gecko, a natural wonder This spotting blew our mind. On a steep and wet walk in Ranomafana national park, Madagascar, we were pointing by a guide to what appears to be a decaying leaf. Yet this is the mythical "phantasticus" Satanic Leaf Tailed gecko. Surely it is one of the most impressive camouflages we ever saw. With the subject in focus and fully flash-lit, you may recognize it as a gecko, if at all, but it's not hard to imagine missing this one :)<br />
<br />
What makes this spotting extra special is that this specie is not documented to be found in Ranomafana at all.   Madagascar,Ranomafana National Park,Uroplatus phantasticus
    Posted 6 years ago, modified 6 years ago
    1. Indeed! A very similar style!

      I saw a couple of Uroplatus phantasticus in Ranomafana also. One of them jumped in front of us and grabbed a twig with its hind legs, ending up in that same hanging-dead-leaf position.
      Posted 6 years ago
      1. You happen to have a photo of that? ;) Posted 6 years ago
        1. Indeed, posted it here:
          A Satanic Leaf-tailed Gecko (Uroplatus phantasticus) doing its very best dead leaf impression Our guide found this gecko by day in a tree. He gently removed it from the tree so that we could get close-up photos. While we were admiring it, the gecko leaped into the air and grabbed a twig with its back feet, then froze in this dead-leaf position. Fall,Geotagged,Madagascar,Satanic Leaf Tailed Gecko,Uroplatus phantasticus
          Posted 6 years ago
  2. Miracanthops sp. Posted 6 years ago
    1. César, how can I tell Miracanthops sp. from Acanthops sp.? Posted 6 years ago
      1. The wings of the female Miracanthops are almost double the length of the Acanthops wings. This is the main characteristic. Posted 6 years ago, modified 6 years ago
        1. Thank you César! Posted 6 years ago
  3. Fantastic. It seems to have tiny pieces of lichen (mimicry?) in some corners too. Posted 6 years ago
  4. Great capture! Posted 6 years ago

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By John Sullivan

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Uploaded Jan 19, 2016. Captured Jan 18, 2013 19:31 in Maynas Province, Peru.
  • PENTAX K-5
  • f/11.0
  • 1/180s
  • ISO800
  • 105mm