The art of camouflage

We’ve learnt all we know about camouflage from Nature. It would be impossible to beat the intricate deceptive details that have been
incorporated into the design of this large stick insect.

It was easy to spot on the back of the truck where for some reason it had landed. Not good camouflage for metal and grease. Once carefully relocated with a real stick to a young birch tree, silhouetted, it was easy to miss.

stick insect 1

Closer inspection showed tiny bumps, as if a twig had snapped off there, and shades and patterns of bark-like colour.

It used to be lumped in with grasshoppers and crickets and cockroaches, but now has its own order, Phasmida.

Apparently these ‘Walking Sticks’ are now popular pets: interesting, quiet, vegetarians – but awfully fragile.

I could see its folded wings, but I’ve never seen one fly. Has anyone out there?

stick insect 2