Field of Science

Everyone wants to be called a Moss

There are plants that we call mosses that are not really mosses. Spanish moss (in the pineapple family), clubmosses (a fern friend), and carrageen moss (a red alga that is used in foods as a thickening agent)I like to call them mossy misnomers. Their common names include the term moss, but really they are not bryophytes nor do they look much like them. However, this stick insect is worthy of his mossy moniker. It is camouflaged to look like a moss and is doing an amazing job!

Trychopeplus laciniatus - Moss mimic stick insect
Photo by dandoucette on Project Noah

Crawling along on a moss covered tree the frills blend in with the surrounding moss making it hard for predators to spot this stick insect. Check out some of the great photos posted on Project Noah for this insect and many others. Thanks to my labmate Ciera Martinez for sending me this photo!     

Trychopeplus laciniatus on a moss-covered tree
Photo by dandoucette on Project Noah

1 comment:

  1. This insect is the most intelligent and resourceful of all insects.. or I'm just fascinated by how it successfully mimicked its surrounding. But we better leave them alone.


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