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First Known Predator To Mimic Flowers To Lure Prey

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Allegedly the orchid mantis is the first known species of predator to lure prey pretending to be a flower (not hiding in the flower like some spiders do). Apparently they're so convincing they're more likely to be visited by insects than actual flowers. That's something you might want to consider before picking a bouquet for your girlfriend. Hey honey, look what I got you OH MY GOD THEY'RE IN YOUR HAIR.

"This is the only animal in the world that we know of that resembles a flower blossom to attract prey," [evolutionary biologist James] O'Hanlon added. "There are other animals that are known to camouflage amongst flowers and ambush prey items, but they do not actually attract the pollinators themselves -- the flowers they sit on are the attractive stimulus. The orchid mantis is unique in that the mantis itself is the attractive stimulus. This means the mantis can sit away from flowers, perhaps on leaves or bark, and still lure in pollinators."

You know, sometimes I wish I was a mantis. Most of the time I wish I was a space ranger or powerful wizard, but sometimes I wish I was a mantis. Actually, the first time was just five minutes ago. Before that I never wished I was a mantis, so it's a new experience for me. It's not as intense as the first time I touched a boob, but these days I take what I can get. You ever been excited to try a new brand of body wash? I want to shoot myself into the sun.

Keep going for several more shots of the mimicry, including a couple who were clearly successful.

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Thanks to Abester, who has never pretended to be a flower before but did pretend to be a bush once during a top-secret stakeout.

There are Comments.
  • MustacheHam

    *throws pokeball*

  • Mr. Popo

    They come flyin' just as fast as they can
    Coz' every bug's crazy 'bout a flower dressed mantis.

  • BiggyD!!!

    You really don't want to be a mantis, you know many of them initiate sex by having the female rip off the head of the male and begin eating him while his lower half continues "doing its thing". Points for persistence but still doesn't sound all that enjoyable. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

  • The Friendly Biologist

    Actually that happens probably ~5% of the time in the wild. That myth is perpetrated by observations made in lab settings where the specimens had been largely starved and were stressed by the unfamiliar surroundings.

  • BiggyD!!!

    Even if it is only 5% (I'd probably guess higher, and I doubt anyone has done anything approaching a conclusive census) I would still not want to be one. If someone said "hey, check out this girl, she's super hot, totally available and has only decapitated and eaten 5% of her past boyfriends" I would still decline... very politely.

  • Tigerh8r

    Seriously? No "attractive stimulus" referenced joke?! What is this website coming to!?

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