1. JohnnieCanuck says

    Reminds me of the bad guys in A Bug’s Life.

    I could definitely see these as the prototype for a horror movie. Either in their millions or magnified in mass by a million.

  2. Trebuchet says

    Cephalopods, of course, can match ANY background, not just one particular tree. And are thus superior.

    Hmm, the spellchecker in Chrome doesn’t know “cephalopod”. It’s a conspiracy!

  3. craigrheinheimer says

    It’s a phasmid, inspiration for naval tactics to defeat evil pirates and win the day for the English crown! Yes, Russel Crow, this science stuff has a use after all.

  4. danja says

    Amazing. You can see how someone who’d already subscribed to the idea of god would see this as proof of creationism, but for those who care to look a little deeper its a fantastic demonstration of evolution. Just brilliant.

  5. mmmmd says

    Truly wonderful. But what is its name for those of us not quite in the know about insects? Thanks.

  6. mikmik says


    Hmmm… I only see three. Are there any i’m missing?
    *evil Bender laugh*

    Yeah, mister smarty pants? Even though I saw through your ruse, I still looked, just to be sure. I found two images of Jesus!

  7. janfebmar says

    Creationist: “…But it’s still an insect!!” btw has this blog addressed the subject of insect evolution at all? Because I see a lot of the old “cockroaches haven’t evolved in 100 million years – therefore d0G” canard from various creationist sites. But not many explanations to be found for why this appears to be so.

  8. frankb says

    That reminds me of a trip I took with my family to Washington DC in 1992. We visited the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History where they had a special exhibit of insects. I walked up to a terrarium that supposedly had some sort of South American walking sticks in it. At first I couldn’t see anything and thought this was hard. I finally spotted the first stick and quickly found another and another. I nearly fell backwards. The terrarium was loaded with the little buggers. Spotting them in the wild would be very hard. They have a good survival strategy.

  9. RobertL says

    frankb – the same thing happened to me at the Queensland Museum insect display. A glass case full of shrubs. I saw one phasmid, “got my eye in”, and then saw the gajillions that I had overlooked until then. And I see plenty of large phasmids in my own garden, so I “knew” what I was looking for.

    Amazing stuff.

  10. mothra says

    It is CLEARLY not a phasmid. It has saltatorial hindlegs and the head is about twice as long as broad. Phasmids are not saltatorial and their heads are about as long as broad. My guess would be Orthoptera: Acrididae: Catantoptinae, possibly a Coryphistes species.

  11. craigrheinheimer says

    Some people here seriously need a doctor to take a look at their funny bone. It may be missing.

    Be less pedantic, take a minute, and go watch a movie. May I recommend “Master and Commander” as a start?

  12. mothra says

    I do so have a sense of humor, why, once when my father was shutting down an auto factory. . .(but I digress). [apologies to non- U.S. citizens- allusion to American politics]

    Taxonomists tend to be pedantic about identifications because they matter. This blog has a large educational component. A cornerstone of evolutionary biology (if not all of science) is knowing what you are working with. Also, while phasmids are glorious and display an outrageous diversity in morphology, the acridid pictured can be appreciated even more by realizing this creature is a secondary invader into phasmid niche space. Its’ superficial resemblance to a phasmid is evolutionary convergence. So, rather than the merely marvelous camouflage of a phasmid, here we have marvelous camouflage like a phasmid but by a grasshopper. As American TV ads go “The more you know. . .”