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

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Our fabulous photo of the day comes from the rainforest of Ecuador.

Look at that face! Part Betty Boop, part alien, the fabulous face of the shield mantis, Choeradodis stalii is a wonder! Much 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 big leaf ... hiding an adorable face, of course. Thanks to photographer Andreas Kay who took this shot in Ecuador.

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