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October 9, 2019

Male Vates praying mantis

A male Vates praying mantis. Gavin Svenson and a team of researchers from the Cleveland Museum of Natural History (CMNH) studied the origins of 16 features that provide disruptive crypsis for the Central and South American horned praying mantises of the subfamily Vatinae, all of which contribute to their camouflage strategy. These features include a head process or horn and leafy looking lobes on the legs. The male Vates is an example of a member of a group that evolved a head horn and leg lobes that help disguise it from predators.

This research was supported by the National Science Foundation (grant DEB 1216309).

To learn more, see the CMNH news story Scientists uncover re-evolution of disruptive camouflage in horned praying mantises. (Date image taken: 2013; date originally posted to NSF Multimedia Gallery: Oct. 9, 2019)

Credit: Gavin Svenson

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