Don’t Trust Your Eyes, This Leaf Is Actually a Butterfly
Thanks to evolution, many species have found different ways to protect themselves from outside threats. Some of them may make warning colors when they see predators while others may fake their identity. Speaking of self-protection, let’s take a look at a creature who has found a unique way to stay “hidden.”
We at Bright Side found a butterfly that will make your jaw drop to the floor.
1. It camouflages itself as a leaf.
The butterfly’s real name is Kallima inachus but not surprisingly, its most common name is the Dead Leaf Butterfly. This butterfly lives in tropical Asia and is at home in the broadleaf forests of India where it blends in with dead foliage during the dry season. The leaf butterfly has a fascinating protection mechanism to protect it from predators.
2. Depending on the season, they show their colorful patterns.
Due to a phenomenon known as polyphenism, dead leaf butterflies have specific seasonal forms.
3. The colorful butterfly can suddenly become a “dead leaf.”
The wings are a light-brown with a leaf vein arrangement very similar to that of flowering dogwood. When its wings are closed, the species looks precisely like a dried autumn leaf, giving it one of the best camouflages a butterfly could ever ask for.
4. They also use their patterns to protect themselves.
But during the wet season, when these butterflies are more active, they show eyespot patterns that are intended to deflect enemies from trying to eat them.
5. Their wings are well prepared to fly.
The natural enemies of the dead leaf butterfly are birds, ants, spiders, and wasps. But since it's a powerful flier, it can cover long distances.
6. In this pose, the butterfly resembles a dried leaf, making other creatures believe it's a plant.
It's often targeted by birds and when it senses an avian attack, the dead leaf flies unpredictably far. Once it's on a tree, it closes its wings and keeps them closed for as long as possible. Then, its attacker is usually unable to find it and must pursue its breakfast elsewhere.
7. Birds are very often unable to find them.
The top of an Indian leaf butterfly's wings showcases several colors like blue, dark brown, white, and orange, sometimes in diagonal stripes throughout the front wings. This display allows winged animals to easily find a butterfly when it flies. But when its wings are closed, however, it's a whole different story.
8. 2 different worlds, inside and out
Have you ever taken a picture of the species with this unique adaptation? Please share them with us in the comments below.