The Paris Zoo is nurturing baby Macleay’s Spectre Stick Insects born in March 2022. They are in a separate terrarium to keep them safe. The baby Stick Insect is called a nymph.
The female Macleay’s Spectre Stick Insect breeds parthenogenically, meaning that she lays eggs that hatch without being fertilized. The female lays 100-1,200 eggs on the ground or on a plant. The eggs hatch after about 4 months into nymphs, which look like ants. The nymphs eat plants and grow into an adult stick insect.
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The Stick Grasshopper (Paraproscopia riedei) is an insect in the Proscopiidae family. It is also known as the Locust Phasmid, the Horsehead Grasshopper, and the Jumping Stick. It is not a stick insect phasmid – it is a stick locust, a proscopiid.
The Stick Grasshopper has a green to brown, cylindrical, and elongated body. It has a conical head with large eyes. It has short antennae. The wings are extremely short or absent. It cannot fly and protects itself by camouflaging itself like a stick. It has six long thin legs. It has strong hind (back) legs and it can jump large distances.
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Is it true that a chameleon changes colour to camouflage itself? This might be a fallacy – a fallacy means that it is not true.
The Chameleon is a reptile in the Chamaeleonidae family of lizards. It is arboreal because it lives in trees. The Chameleon is native to Africa, Madagascar, southern Europe, and southern Asia. It prefers to live in warm regions, such as rain forests and deserts.
I have written in this website that the Chameleon can be a variety of colours, and “it can change colour to match its environment – this is called camouflage.” But it might be incorrect to say this.
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The French Stick Insect (Clonopsis gallica) is an insect in the Bacillidae family of stick insects. It is a phasmid.
The French Stick Insect has an oblong light-brown body with spikes. It also has spikes on its strong hind (back) legs. The female has more spikes than the male. The spikes and colour help it to camouflage itself in plants and bushes. It has also has wings.
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The Panther Chameleon (Furcifer pardalis) is a reptile in the Chamaeleonidae family.
The male Panther Chameleon can vary in colour from blue to red, green, orange. The female is usually tan and brown with a bit of pink or orange. It has distinctive eyes, with a pin-hole where the pupil is located. Its eyes, with good eyesight, can rotate independently, giving the Panther Chameleon 360 degrees of vision (all around it). It has a very long tongue with a suction-capped tip to catch insects.
It has five toes on each foot, but some are fused together so it looks like it only has two toes on each foot: two together and three together. Its feet act like tongs and can grip branches. Each toe has a sharp claw.
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What is the difference in tiger stripes between tiger sub-species: Amur Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris), Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris), and the Sumatran Tiger (Panthera tigris sondaica)? They all belong to the Felidae family and Panthera genus.
As a form of camouflage, tigers have stripes – not to confuse their predators but to hide from their prey. Tigers like to sneak up close to their prey, hide in tall grass and trees, then pounce on their prey.
Their form of camouflage is called disruptive camouflage because the stripes are broken – short, irregular stripes.
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What is homochromy?
Homochromy is a form of camouflage that animals use to hide themselves in their environment.
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The European Plaice (Pleuronectes platessa) is a marine (saltwater) fish in the Pleuronectiformes family of flatfish.
The European Plaice is oval-shaped with a thin, laterally compresed body and a small head. It has a small mouth with a single series of small incisor-like teeth. It has dark-green to dark-brown skin, which is blotched with irregular orange spots. It can camouflage its skin to match its environment. Its underside is pearly white. Its skin is smooth with small scales. Both eyes are on the right side of its body (it is called a right-eyed flatfish).
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The Australian Wolf Spider (Hoggicosa castanea) is an arachnid in the Lycosidae family of wolf spiders. It is a wandering species of spider.
The Australian Wolf Spider is brown and camouflaged in its srroundings. It has eight eyes arranged in three rows. Two of its eyes are large and prominent. Unlike most spiders, it has excellent eyesight.
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The Common Octopus (Octopus vulgaris) is a marine (saltwater) invertebrate (soft-bodied) mollusc in the Octopodidae family. Octopod means eight limbs. It is a cephalopod, related to the squid, cuttlefish, and nautilus.
The Common Octopus has a soft hollow body called a mantle. Its body can change shape and squeeze into small gaps. The mantle has gills (to breath), a brain, and a parrot-beaked mouth. Surrounding the mouth is eight limbs with suckers. It has two large eyes with excellent sight. It has three hearts.
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Why does the Jungle Nymph have spiky legs?
The Jungle Nymph (Heteropteryx dilatata) is a large insect in the Heteropterygidae family of stick insects.
The female is bright green, much larger than the male, but with very small wings and she cannot fly. She looks life a green leaf. She arches her body backwards. The male is mottled brown, much smaller than the female, with large pinks wings and can fly.
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What animals change colour for winter?
Many animals, especially mammals, hibernate (sleep) in winter. Some animals lie dormant (similar to sleep, but lie still). Other animals, such as butterflies and moths and other insects, turn into cocoons and chrysalises in winter, waiting to emerge as adults in spring. Other animals grow their winter fur to keep them warm.
But some animals change colour to camouflage into their autumn and winter environment – brown among dry leaves and leaf litter, white in snowfields, and grey in clouded habitats.
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The Steppe Runner (Eremias arguta) is a medium-sized reptile in the Lacertidae family of wall lizards. It is also known as the Mongolian Racerunner.
The Steppe Runner varies in colour to camouflage itself with its environment. It has a wide body, deep head, and short tail. Around its head and neck, older males may have tubercles, which are small, rounded outgrowths of skin. It has a light underbelly. It has dark eyes. Its fourth toe on its hind (back) leg is longer than the other toes.
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The Eurasian Treecreeper (Certhia familiaris) is a small passerine bird. It is also known as the Common Treecreeper.
The Eurasian Treecreeper has camouflaged, patterned, light-brown and dark-brown upperparts, white underparts, and a rufous (red-brown) rump. It has a white eyebrow. Its tail is brown and long. It has a curved, dark-grey beak. It has pink-beige legs and feet, with long, hooked claws.
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The Pink Wing Stick Insect (Sipyloidea sipylus) is a phasmid insect in the Sipyloidea family of stick insects. It is also known as the Madagascan Stick Insect. It is related to the Praying Mantis.
The Pink Wing Stick Insect is long, thin and stick-like. It has a light-brown body that is camouflaged to look like dry straw, or dry grass. Both the male and the female have wings, but the wings of the female are too small for flying.
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The Sunwatcher Toadhead Agama Lizard (Phrynocephalus helioscopus) is a small lizard in the agamid family. It is also known as the Fergana Toadhead Agama.
The Sunwatcher Toadhead Agama Lizard has a short, wide head, and a short nose. It has rough skin. It has scale fringes around its eyes to keep out the desert sand. It varies in colour from light-beige to grey to dark-brown, with white, black, and red patterns that camouflages it with its environment. It has a light underbelly. It has partially fringed toes to help it walk on sand.
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The Smooth Blenny (Lipophrys pholis) is a marine (saltwater) fish. It is also known as the Common Blenny, the Pholis Blenny, or Shanny.
The Smooth Blenny has smooth skin that changes colour to camouflage itself in its surroundings. It is usually green with mottled black patterns. It has an elongated body with a continuous dorsal (back) fin.
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The European Mantis (Mantis religiosa) is a large insect in the Mantidae family of mantids, commonly known as the Praying Mantis.
The front pair of legs of the European Mantis has spikes and are bent in a praying position. It is long and green and can be camouflaged in plants. It can also be brown, reddish-brown, or yellow-green. It has a hard shell, called an exo-skeleton. The male and the female have wings, but the wings of the female are too small for flying. It has a triangular head on a thin flexible neck. It has large compound eyes.
Its movement is rhythmic. It sways back and forth or side to side.
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The European Green Lizard (Lacerta viridis) is a reptile.
The European Green Lizard is green with small spots on its back. The male has a bluish throat, and the female’s throat is lighter blue. It is well camouflaged in the grass. It drops its tail to evade predators. The tail regenerates – it grows back. This is called autotomy.
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