16 June 2012

Effective use of camouflage - spot the Orthoptera

Orthoptera amongst Aptenia cordifolia
I observed this large insect of the order Orthoptera (grasshoppers, crickets and locusts) amongst a species of succulent plant called Aptenia cordifolia which is also known by the common name heartleaf ice plant. It has vibrant little magenta coloured flowers and is native to South Africa.  Aptenia cordifolia has fleshy glossy green leaves and is an ideal plant for providing groundcover.  Notice how the Orthoptera is perfectly camouflaged and totally blends into its surroundings. 

"Camouflage is a set of methods of concealment that allows otherwise visible animals, military vehicles, or other objects to remain unnoticed by blending with their environment or by resembling something else. Examples include a leopard's spotted coat, the battledress of a modern soldier and a leaf-mimic butterfly. Camouflage is a form of visual deception; the term probably comes from camouflet, a French term meaning smoke blown in someone's face as a practical joke."

Orthoptera amongst Aptenia cordifolia





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