Praying Mantis
Mantis religiosa
Owl Butterfly
(Not to be confused with Calico butterflies.)
Katydid, a long-horned grasshopper that lives chiefly in trees and shrubs. (The term
long-horned refers to the antennae.) The katydid is named for its mating call, "Katydid!
Katydidn't!'' The call, in most species made by the male only, is produced by rubbing a
scraper on one forewing against the toothed edge of the other forewing.

Katydids commonly grow to be 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches (38 to 64 mm) long, but some
tropical species exceed 6 inches (15 cm). Many katydids are green and have wings
resembling leaves, making them difficult for predators to detect among foliage. Others
are gray, tan, brown, or pink. The true katydid, common east of the Rockies in North
America, is a leaf-winged katydid. Females of this species also make the characteristic
call. The oblong-winged katydid has narrower wings, almost uniform in width
throughout their length.

Katydids have long, strong hind legs, and four wings that are folded lengthwise when at
rest. The wings are filmy and extend far beyond the body. The insects hear through
organs, called tympana, located on the forelegs. In most species, the female has a long,
sword-shaped ovipositor, an organ on the rear end of the abdomen, used for depositing
eggs. In the angular-winged katydid the ovipositor is short and curves upward.
said senior museum scientist Steve Heydon.  “It’s surprising how long it takes visitors
to find them.”

The insects, natives of Malaysia, dine on bramble, oak, eucalyptus, raspberry, rose, and
red/yellow salmon berry. At the Bohart, they like blackberry leaves.

The insects, splotched with red, look like green autumn leaves turning color. “With
insect camouflage, there’s never a perfect leaf,” Heydon said. “You see simulated

“We got them as nymphs,” Heydon said. “They grow very slowly, probably the
slowest of all the insects we’ve ever had at the museum.  It took nine months for them
to molt and become adults, and they each did it within a day of each other.”

They mimic leaves in the wind by swaying as they walk, Heydon said, and females can
reach a length of 5 inches.

Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum and professor of entomology at UC
Davis, said she’s always craved walking leaves for the museum. “They are so
incredibly bizarre-looking,” she said. “It’s amazing how this insect develops new skin
when its abdomen is as flat as paper.”

The Bohart Museum of Entomology, located in 1124 Academic Surge, was founded in
1946 by the late Richard M. Bohart, former chair of the UC Davis Department of
Entomology. Dedicated to teaching, research and service, the insect museum houses
As its name suggests, the stick insect resembles the twigs among which it lives,
providing it with one of the most efficient natural camouflages on Earth. It and the
equally inconspicuous leaf insect comprise the Phasmida order, of which there are
approximately 3,000 species.

Stick insect species, often called walking sticks, range in size from the tiny, half-inch-
long (11.6-millimeter-long) Timema cristinae of North America, to the formidable 13-
inch-long (328-millimeter-long) Phobaeticus kirbyi of Borneo. This giant measures over
21 inches (55 centimeters) with its legs outstretched, making it one of the world’s
longest insects. Females are normally larger than males.

Phasmids generally mimic their surroundings in color, normally green or brown,
although some species are brilliantly colored and others conspicuously striped. Many
stick insects have wings, some spectacularly beautiful, while others resemble little more
than a stump. A number of species have spines and tubercles on their bodies.

Found predominantly in the tropics and subtropics—although several species live in
temperate regions—stick insects thrive in forests and grasslands, where they feed on
Quiz #367 Results
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Answers to Quiz #367 - September 18, 2012
What are the names of these unusual creatures?

a.  Walking Leaf
b.  Owl Butterfly
c.  Katydid
d.  Walking Stick
e.  Preying Manthis
f.  Giant Prickly Stick  
Congratulations to Our Winners!

Karen Petrus                Collier Smith
Daniel Jolley                Dennis Brann
Marcelle Comeau                Christine Walker
Giant Prickly Stick
A giant prickly stick insect (Extatosoma tiaratum), a member of the walking stick
family Phasmidae in the order Orthoptera. This remarkable walking stick is native to
Australia and New Guinea. Large females such as this can be up to six inches long (15
Walking Leaf
The walking leaf insect (Phyllium pulchrifolium), a member of the family Phyllidae in
the order Orthoptera. This remarkable walking stick relative is native to Indonesia and
Malaysia. There are several color variations that perfectly match the foliage of trees and
(Above) These two katydids sitting on
a tomato plant are well camouflaged.
Note the veins in the wings that
resemble leaves. (Left)  The wings of a
katydid mimic the movement of leaves
and serve as camouflage in protection
against potential predators. Katydids
are grasshopper relatives in the insect
order Orthoptera.
htm#lfinsect1 and
Walking Stick
Walking stick photographed at the San Diego Wild Animal Park.
A well-camouflaged flatfish. Flatfishes
include about 130 American species which are
subdivided into two major groups, the soles
and flounders. Both groups includes familiar
food fish such as sole, flounder, sand dabs
and halibut. They have evolved some unique
adaptations for life on the sandy ocean bottom.
Their eyes have migrated to the same side of
the head, either left or right depending on the
species.  They are also able to change their
A well-camouflaged stonefish in the shallow
water of Tetiaroa Atoll in French Polynesia.
The dorsal spine of this fish can inflict a
painful toxin. Accidentally stepping on one of
these fish can ruin a vacation trip to these
lovely islands.
Leafy sea dragon (Phycodurus
eques), one of the most remarkable
examples of camouflage in the animal
kingdom. Native to southern
Australia, this fish is difficult to
distinguish from leafy seaweeds. In
fact, at first glance it is hard to tell
that it is a fish. Sea dragons belong to
the order Solenichthyes, along with
sea horses and pipefish. A faint,
transparent, dorsal fin is barely
discernable in the photo.
DAVIS— If you “turn over a new leaf” at the
Bohart Museum of Entomology, University of
California, Davis, it may not be a leaf.

Two newly molted insects in the Bohart
Museum look just like leaves—walking leaves.

But these “leaves” are made for walking.

The camouflaged insects (Phyllium
giganteum) are green, wide and flat with a
leaf-like abdomen, and they’re a big attraction
at the Bohart.

“They’re hard to detect among the leaves,”
At Bohart Museum, These Leaves Are Made for Walking  
July 15, 2009
The walking leaf insect (bottom, light
colored) among blackberry leaves.
(Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Owl Butterfly
Caligo illioneus pampeiro (Fruhstorfer,
1904) - "Lechucita".
Caligo eurilochus brasiliensis
(C.Felder,1862) - "Lechucita de Brazil"
Stick insects are among the best camouflaged of all creatures, with a body shape
that mimics the branches of their home.  Photograph by Robert Sisson.
Fast Facts



Average life span in the wild:
Up to 3 years

Size:0.46 to 12.9 in (11.6 to 328 mm)

Did you know?Stick insects are part of the
Phasmida order, the name of which is derived
from a Greek word meaning “apparition.

”Size relative to a tea cup:
leaves. Mainly nocturnal creatures,
they spend much of their day
motionless, hidden under plants.

Many stick insects feign death to
thwart predators, and some will
shed the occasional limb to escape
an enemy’s grasp. Others swipe at
predators with their spine-covered
legs, while one North American
species, Anisomorpha
buprestoides, emits a putrid-
smelling fluid.

Little is known about stick insects,
making it difficult to declare the
vulnerability of their status in the
wild. The pet trade presents a
potential threat, along with the
popular practice of framing their
carcasses, like butterflies.
more than seven million specimens, the
seventh largest insect collection in North

The museum also includes live insects
such as Madagascar hissing cockroaches
and walking sticks, which visitors can
hold, and black widow spiders.

More info about the Bohart, visiting
hours, and guided tours is available from
Heydon at (530) 752-0493 or Tabatha
Yang, public outreach coordinator.
Praying Mantis
The praying mantis is named for its prominent
front legs, which are bent and held together at
an angle that suggests the position of prayer.
The larger group of these insects is more
properly called the praying mantids. Mantis
refers to the genus mantis, to which only some
praying mantids belong.

By any name, these fascinating insects are
formidable predators. They have triangular
heads poised on a long "neck," or elongated
thorax. Mantids can turn their heads 180
degrees to scan their surroundings with two
large compound eyes and three other simple
eyes located between them.

Typically green or brown and well camouflaged
on the plants among which they live, mantis lie
in ambush or patiently stalk their quarry. They
use their front legs to snare their prey with
reflexes so quick that they are difficult to see
with the naked eye. Their legs are further
equipped with spikes for snaring prey and
pinning it in place.

Moths, crickets, grasshoppers, flies, and other
insects are usually the unfortunate recipients of
unwanted mantid attention. However, the insects
will also eat others of their own kind. The most
famous example of this is the notorious mating
behavior of the adult female, who sometimes
eats her mate just after—or even during—
mating. Yet this behavior seems not to deter
males from reproduction.

Females regularly lay hundreds of eggs in a
small case, and nymphs hatch looking much like
tiny versions of their parents.
An Empusa Mantis larva looks as if it’s
made from twigs, as it perches on one.

An Empusa Mantis, blending in with
the color of the flower on which an
unwitting butterfly has landed.
The Owl butterfly from Africa mimics
the Owl quite remarkably fooling
predators into perceiving something
more ferocious.
Butterflies in the genus Caligo are commonly
called owl butterflies, after their huge eyespots,
which resemble owls' eyes. They are found in
the rainforests and secondary forests of Mexico,
Central, and South America.

Owl butterflies are very large, 65–200 mm (2.6–
7.9 in), and fly only a few metres at a time, so
avian predators have little difficulty in following
them to their settling place. However, the
butterflies preferentially fly in dusk, when few
avian predators are around. The Latin name may
possibly refer to their active periods. Caligo
means darkness.

Some owl butterflies form leks in mating

The underwing pattern is highly cryptic. It is
conceivable that the eye pattern is a generalized
form of mimicry. It is known that many small
animals hesitate to go near patterns resembling
eyes with a light-colored iris and a large pupil,
which matches the appearance of the eyes of
many predators that hunt by sight. The main
predators of Caligo are apparently small lizards
such as Anolis.
Katydids eat the leaves of trees and shrubs but
seldom do much harm. In early fall the females lay
eggs on leaves or twigs, or deposit them in crevices
in bark, or in slits made in leaf edges with the
ovipositor. In spring the eggs produce nymphs that
resemble the parents except for size and lack of
wings. The nymphs molt, or shed their coverings,
several times as they grow. The insects mature in
late summer.

Katydids belong to the family Tettigoniidae of the
order Orthoptera. The true katydid is Pterophylla
camellifolia oblong-winged, Amblycorypha
oblongifolia; angular-winged, Microcentrum
Cleverly disguised among the leaves, this green praying mantis can swivel its
head nearly 180 degrees to spot potential prey.
More Animal Mimicry and Camouflage
color patterns to match the bottom. On a black and white checkerboard background
some species can develop dark and light areas to match the squares in the
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Comments from Our Readers
Calico Butterfly - I thought it was a moth, and wasted a bit of time googling that, but
finally tried "gray butterfly eye spots" and that turned up the right insect at
www. Didn't find your specific photo, and didn't use
image-search. Found another photo by accident, on
next to the picture of the walking leaf.

It appears there are a number of related species or subspecies (see Argentina's versions
at the bottom of sharing the name and
same general appearance, but with subtle differences in pattern.

There are so many nearly identical sticks and mantises that I didn't even try to
determine what your d) and e) specimens were; f) has a pretty distinctive appearance
so I could track it down.                                                                  
Collier Smith

N.B.  According to Wikipedia, the owl butterfly is different from a calico butterfly.  
See  - Q. Gen.

Are these all your new pets???  [have no clue if any of these are even close to correct,
but I can only spend so much time looking at insects… they give me the heeby
Karen Petrus

This quiz has been bugging me!!                                                        
Dennis Brann

N.B.  I've been waiting all week for someone to submit that comment.  - Q. Gen.

Their names are Bruce, Lazlo, Maurice, Bubba, Kenji and of course, Murray.
Shirley Hamblin