Photo: Adorable face of a shield mantis belies a masterful disguise

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Look at that face! Part Betty Boop, part alien, the fabulous face of the shield mantis, Choeradodis stalii is a wonder! Part of its appeal is the context – that big hood which frames it all. And that hood has an important job. As it turns out, this species is one of the most impressive of the mimics – it has the largest leaf-mimicking hood of all leaf-mimicking species. When laying low, the mantis looks like a leaf ... hiding an adorable face, of course. Thanks to photographer Andreas Kay who took this shot in Ecuador.

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