3 min read

This Incredible Bug Looks Just Like A Flower

They're SO good at hiding 🌸

Can you find the insect in this photo?

At first glance, it may just look like a snapshot of a beautiful pink flower — but what you’re really seeing is a rare species of bug called the orchid mantis.

mantis orchid
An orchid mantis resting on a branch | Shutterstock

Native to Malaysia, these vibrant insects love humid, tropical forests with a bounty of different plants to lounge on. Their pink-hued appearance may come off as pretty and delicate, but it’s also what makes them so dangerous.

orchid mantis
Shutterstock

These mantises climb onto flowering plants to disguise themselves — and when prey gets near, they strike. This hunting tactic is called aggressive mimicry — and the orchid mantis could be its poster child.

mantis orchid
A white orchid mantis eating caterpillar | Shutterstock

Their appearance also doubles as protection from predators, since they’re so good at blending in. In fact, their disguise is so effective that even when they aren’t sitting on a flower, orchid mantises often get approached by pollinators like bees and butterflies, who mistake them for a blossom.

orchid mantis
Shutterstock

While they mainly prey on small insects, they’re also known to hunt much larger animals, including lizards, frogs and mice (but don’t worry, they’re harmless to humans).

Despite their strong hunting abilities, these insects still remain quite tiny as adults; females usually measure about 6 centimeters long, while males often grow to just half that size.

Unfortunately, due to their striking appearance, orchid mantises have become a popular pet among bug collectors and in the exotic insect trade, even though they typically live less than eight months.

orchid mantis pet
Shutterstock

While these insects have very short lives, they make the world such a beautiful place while they’re here — of course, if you can spot them first.