Masters of Disguise – Insects

Looking at insects and natural creatures is the best antidote to anxiety. Don’t you think that nature has much to offer and we know very little? When we comb through videos on YouTube, we learn plenty of new things about exotic insects and their arresting strangeness. Admit it, you too have always been curious about the insects that impersonate others for self-defence. But sadly, we are not familiar with many of them apart from chameleons. But wait, this video has some really intriguing things to show you and this will leave you wide-eyed.

This video from Maddie About Science features Hannah Wood, an arachnologist by profession and she has an outstanding collection of insects that are pro at disguising. She tells us that there are at least 35 million specimens of such natural mimics. Whoa! According to Hannah, these insects change their physical appearance to ward off danger or to serve their own purpose. For example, there are ant-mimic spiders that you can’t distinguish from a horde of ants. They mimic the ants to stealthily prey on them. How cool is that!

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Now, neither do insects choose to become mimics nor does it happen overnight. This is the unequivocal law of nature that they comply with to maintain the ecological balance. These creatures have unique DNA that they pass on to their offspring and that is how they persist. Hannah has a multitude of such insects that leave us completely spellbound. The Asian Dead Leaf Mantis is one such insect that, surprisingly, looks like dead leaves.

Unlike many of us who roll our eyes at the mention of spiders, Hannah tells she is fascinated by their microscopic view. She is really amazed at how adeptly they mimic other creatures. What’s more, Hannah even shows us the specimen of moths that mimic bird poop, ew!

Then there are these peppered moths that have a long-drawn history that dates back to the Industrial Revolution. Although these special organisms have always been present in nature, the white peppered moths were spotted for the first time when the exceeding pollution and soot covered the trees black. But, towards the end of the century, almost 100 per cent of the white peppered moths disappeared and we were only left with the black ones. Upon cleaning up the environment in the 1950s, the white moths made a comeback.

Our world boasts such breathtaking beauties that are still evolving. Their sight is refreshing, isn’t it?

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