Crypsis Challenge #15

October 23rd, 2011 - 9:33 AM | Filed under Crypsis Challenges | 6 Comments

July 5, 2011 | Victorio Siqueroli Park, Uberlandia, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Can you spot the critter hidden on the side of this tree? This is a natural light photo and under the forest canopy it really was dark as shown here.

Crypsis Challenge #14 Reveal: Bark Mantis

October 1st, 2011 - 9:07 AM | Filed under Crypsis Challenges | 2 Comments

Did you rise to the latest crypsis challenge and spot the bark mantis in the photo? If not, take another look with the help of my crude outlining skills.

July 5, 2011 | Victorio Siqueroli Park, Uberlandia, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Mantis Position Revealed

This bark mantis was the first thing I photographed on my first visit to Victorio Siqueroli Park. It was difficult trying to get some natural light photos that showed off its camouflage. It’s head down in the shot above, but it moved around during the shoot and ended up in various positions. Here’s some more shots with the aid of flash.

Can you see it now?

How about now?

I think just about everyone could spot something in the photo, they just couldn’t quite make out what it was. Initial guesses included a cricket, a grasshopper, and even a peanut-headed lanternfly. Finally, Ted C. MacRae and Zi-Wei Yyin both correctly guessed it was something in the order Mantodea.

Here’s some more closeup shots of this interesting critter.

Poised for action

Head closeup

Profile shot

On my last visit to the park I photographed another one of these interesting critters. Look for future photos of that one as well.

Crypsis Challenge #14

September 26th, 2011 - 8:51 PM | Filed under Crypsis Challenges | 12 Comments

July 5, 2011 | Victorio Siqueroli Park, Uberlandia, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Can you spot the camouflaged critter in this image?

Crypsis Challenge #13 Reveal: Jumping Stick

September 7th, 2011 - 6:18 PM | Filed under Crypsis Challenges | 2 Comments

82mm | July 9, 2011 | Tupaciguara, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Were you able to find the critter in the photo above? It’s in the lower right corner. Some of you may recognize this as another stick grasshopper in the family Proscopiidae, previously featured in Crypsis Challenge #3. They are so cryptic that I couldn’t resist doing another challenge with this one. Here’s an outline of the grasshopper if you’re still not seeing it.

Grasshopper revealed

Check out how closely the color and texture of the insect matches that of the surrounding vegetation.

Can you distinguish animal from plant here?

Here’s another image where it’s blending in fairly well.

Another cryptic scene

And here, I intentionally placed it on a nearby rock so its features would stand out.

Jumping stick, looking more like the grasshopper it is

They have such interesting faces that I couldn’t resist a profile shot. It actually looks a bit sinister here.

Profile shot

Most of those that commented found the critter. A few even guessed the identity correctly, but even the incorrect guesses were plausible. Good job, everyone.

Crypsis Challenge #13

September 4th, 2011 - 9:06 AM | Filed under Crypsis Challenges | 8 Comments

July 9, 2011 | Tupaciguara, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Time for another crypsis challenge. Can you spot the critter hidden in this scene?

Crypsis Challenge #12 Reveal: Frog

July 8th, 2011 - 8:10 PM | Filed under Crypsis Challenges | No comments

January 21, 2011 | Finca La Isla, Limon Province, Costa Rica

Three commenters successfully identified the frog from the last crypsis challenge.

Here’s a closer look.

Frog closeup

That wraps up all my posts from my January trip to Costa Rica.

Crypsis Challenge #12

July 6th, 2011 - 9:53 AM | Filed under Crypsis Challenges | 7 Comments

January 21, 2011 | Finca La Isla, Limon Province, Costa Rica

As I was shooting the last crypsis challenge, the critter hidden here caught my attention. If it hadn’t moved, I probably would never have noticed it. Can you find it?

Crypsis Challenge #11 Reveal: Moth

July 6th, 2011 - 9:50 AM | Filed under Crypsis Challenges | 2 Comments

January 21, 2011 | Finca La Isla, Limon Province, Costa Rica

Did you find the moth in the image above? If not, don’t feel bad. I might not have seen it either, except I originally spotted the moth in a more conspicuous location. After a few shots (below), I deliberately spooked it in hopes that it would land in a location suitable for a crypsis challenge. Here’s an outline if you still need a little help finding it.

Moth revealed

Here’s where I originally spotted it. Not blending in so well, is it?

Camouflage fail

This moth’s shape suggests it might be in the family Tortricidae. It’s small, only about 15mm measured lengthwise in the photo below.

Attractively marked, up close

It really is quite attractive up close, with orange bordered wings. The labial palps have orange scales at their base as well.

Frontal view, showing labial palps

Crypsis Challenge #11

June 30th, 2011 - 2:02 PM | Filed under Crypsis Challenges | 3 Comments

January 21, 2011 | Finca La Isla, Limon Province, Costa Rica

Can you spot the critter hiding in plain sight in this photo? Just a general common name is all I’m looking for. I’ll moderate comments until I reveal the answer in a few days.

I’m waiting for the day when I post one of these and someone points out something else in the photo that I hadn’t even noticed.

Crypsis Challenge #10 Reveal

April 10th, 2011 - 3:17 PM | Filed under Crypsis Challenges | 3 Comments

I didn’t intend to leave this challenge open for quite so long. Unfortunately, other things in my life sometimes have to take precedence over this blog, even if I’d rather it be the other way around. ­čÖé

Looks like the challenge was more difficult than I expected. Commenters who suggested a katydid were on the right track, but this looks like a cricket to me. Here’s the original photo and another version where I’ve crudely outlined the cricket.

Cricket, outlined

January 19, 2011 | Armonia Nature Preserve, Limon Province, Costa Rica

I provided the outline to show the position and to show just how long the antennae are. Here’s a closer photo, sans antennae.

Cricket revealed

The hind tarsi here are hidden below the tips of those surprisingly long cerci. The visible ovipositor makes this a female and apparently a wingless one.

I’m going to suggest this might be a species in the family Mogoplistidae, the scaly crickets. The presence of lepidoteran like scales is diagnostic. Up close this one does appear to have a sheen to it. ┬áThat family also has wingless females. I’m prepared to be corrected on this suggestion though.