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Meet the Orchid Mantis, a special bug that looks just like a flower (8 Pics)

What do you see in the picture below?
At first, you might think it’s just a pretty pink flower that looks like one from an orchid. In fact, you’re looking at an orchid mantis, a rare type of bug.

An orchid mantis resting on a branch | SHUTTERSTOCK

Only found in Malaysia, these really unique bugs eat a lot of different plants in the humid, tropical forests. Now, don’t judge a book by its cover. These bugs may look pretty and delicate, but they are more dangerous.

The way that these mantises hunt is called “aggressive mimicry.” To hide, they will climb onto flowering plants.

The orchid mantis then waits for its prey to come close. Since the prey thinks the orchid mantis is just a harmless flower, it will come close and let its guard down. This is when the orchid mantis strikes.

Credit: Sebastian Janicki/Shutterstock

The fact that it looks like a flower helps it hunt and keeps it safe from other animals.

Even when they’re not sitting on a flower, bees and butterflies often come to them to pollinate. That’s how good their disguises can be!

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Hymenopus coronatus, an orchid mantis, as a youngster on an orchid. One of the best ways for an animal to hide. IndonesiaMost of what they eat are small insects, which are easy to catch, especially when they use the aggressive mimicry technique mentioned above.

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But it is known that these dangerous animals hunt bigger animals like lizards, frogs, and even mice.

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