What are your favorite examples of animal camouflage/mimicry?

As of late, I’ve been falling down a rabbit hole of organisms with interesting methods of camouflage.
I’m quite fond of organisms that mimic moss or lichens, such as Trychopeplus laciniatus or Anaphidna verrucosa. However, earlier today I discovered Siamusotima aranea, a spider-mimicking moth. As a moth enjoyer myself, I thought that was pretty cool!

What are some of your favorite nature ninjas? :)

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here’s a butterfly pupa mimicking a snake by @magazhu: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/2671588

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What fish? Where?
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/35339015

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Wow that’s amazing!

After seeing them in action, I’d say some of tge moths that mimic hummingbirds.

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Phasmatodea species

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Ah I’d have to say the mimic octopus is amazing. They’ve been observed mimicking eels, stingrays, jellyfish, lionfish, crabs, sea snakes, starfish, anemones and more. Just really incredible creatures.
Here’s just a few observations from iNaturalist:
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/108152104
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/116665057
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/104572468

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My current favorite is crab spiders
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/118064329

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Another worthy contender is another cephalopod: The Cuttlefish.

Not only can they change their colour to blend in with their surroundings, they can also change their texture to mimic ragged terrain.

They will also often wave their tentacles to act as worms to entice prey.
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/117326937
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/116880211
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112835362

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That last one is really beautiful! :)

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My favotrite is easily Lampsilis.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0YTBj0WHkU

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This

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/81258013

which as a nymph mimics wasps like this

https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/342368-Xanthocryptus

but as an adult

https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/523095-Aganacris-velutina

mimics wasps like this

https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/54031-Pepsis-mildei

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Two projects that might of interest for you
https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/camouflaged-animals
https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/ant-mimics

Butterfly mimicing am wasp:
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/70991383 mimicing something like this https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/752558-Polybia-flavitincta

adding to the " Fish? Where?"-category
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/70193014

As a spiderfan I could list many examples, but Thomisiid spiders are for sure masters of camouflage… and can be pretty beautyful as well
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/82013053

This butterfly can basically become invisible in front of your eyes
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/39726891

Still dont have an ID to this one, but am still amazed that I even found it :-)
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/37817223

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https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/4338440

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Mimicry happens a lot with Erotylidae fungus beetles. I’m (veeery slowly) building a list of them in this journal post https://www.inaturalist.org/journal/fmiudo/60061-list-of-mimicry-between-pleasing-fungus-beetles-erotylidae-and-other-kind-of-beetles-animals

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I like those leaf butterflies that lay on their side pretending to be dead leaves. Never seen one in person, but you gotta admire the dedication.

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There’s also leaf katydids with holes and irregular wing borders to mimic leaves that have been chewed.

And the bird poop caterpillars are pretty cool too.

And mealybug destroyers (predatory ladybugs whose larvae look like the mealybug larvae they feed on, so they can blend in “Among Us” style).

And the lacewing larvae who use bits of lichen (and corpses).

Or caterpillars who disguise themselves with plant debris and deliberately move like the wind is blowing them, like this one: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/5393086

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The tribe Calopterini has some pretty amazing mimics
https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/mimics-of-calopterini-identified
https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/mimics-of-calopterini

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Fer-de-lance, also called Terciopelo. It’s a pit viper, with venom that can cause gangrene in humans. At La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica, there was a notice on the bulletin board; it read, “Can you find the terciopelo in this picture?” It was a photo of a rainforest trail covered with leaf litter. I stared at it for whole minutes before I finally found the terciopelo – right in the center, lying exposed in the open, so perfectly matching the leaf litter that it was virtually invisible. The message of the notice was always to wear your boots when walking outside, even just from your room to the dining hall.

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Spiders in the genus Castianeira (the so-called ant-mimicing sac spiders) might be my favorites for the sole reason that most of them aren’t fooling anybody. Their camouflage is generally pretty bad. Castianeira trilineata being the exception (it actually mimics fire ant coloration quite well), most of them are very obviously spiders at first glance. Despite that, many of them adopt ant-like behaviors (perhaps hoping their acting skills might make up for the poor costume design). Since bad camouflage is generally not an adaptive trait, it’s actually kind of unique to see a natural example of camouflage that’s anything less than perfect.

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