14 pink animals that wow and woo

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Orchid mantis

In 1879, Australian journalist James Hingsley returned from Indonesia with stories of a carnivorous orchid that lured butterflies to its petals and ate them alive. As you may have guessed, it wasn't a flower he saw, it was the amazingly deceptive flower-mimicking insect Hymenopus coronatus – the orchid mantis.

In a more recent study to determine if the orchid mantis' fancy disguise actually lured insects to their deaths, scientists were surprised to find that the mantises actually attracted more insects than real flowers did. And while other animals may camouflage with flowers to hide among and then ambush their prey, the schemes of the orchid mantis are different – they sit out alone on branches or leaves and pose as flowers rather than hiding amongst them. Nothing says "nature is intense" like clever bug-eating flower bugs.

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