Photo: Cloud forest stick insect mimics moss

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Our photo of the day comes from Ecuador's Finca Palmonte.

It's a tough world out there, especially for the insects and caterpillars who are rich in protein and easy prey for predators. But Mother Nature has a plan for that: Give them disguises. (Sorry, predators!) Naturally adapted camouflage is a true wonder, and is poetically illustrated in this moss mimic stick insect – looking like a stick isn't enough? Here, let's add some mossy doodads.

The photo above and video below were taken by naturalist Andreas Kay, who writes of the video:

"This pair of moss mimic Stick Insects (nymphs of Trychopeplus thaumasius?) were filmed at Finca Palmonte near Baños in the cloud forest of Ecuador. During daytime they hang nearly imperceptible between moss covered twigs and only become active at night to feed on leaves, in this case an orchid leave. They not only look like moss but even move like waving in the wind."

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