Photo: Stick Insect Mimics Moss

Close up of a stick insect against a dark background

Andreas Kay / Flickr

Our photo of the day is a marvel of mimicry! Stick insects got their name for the incredible ways in which they have adapted to look like, yes, sticks. But some of them can't leave well enough alone and have to outdo everyone else. Case in point? This moss mimicking stick insect photographed by Andreas Kay in the rain forest of Ecuador. With it's ruffles of faux moss to better blend in with its surroundings, this master of camouflage nearly disappears in its forest environment. Is it any wonder that this order of insects is called Phasmatodea? The group's name is derived from the Ancient Greek word phasma, meaning an apparition or phantom. [Here's another insect even more exuberant in its ghostliness: The crazy camouflage of a lichen katydid] Would you like to see your nature photo featured as the TreeHugger photo of the day? Join TreeHugger’s Reader Photo Pool on Flickr and add your pictures to the group.