The Imitation Game: 8 Animals That Pretend to be Other Creatures

1 Panda Ant

Image: Wikimedia Commons

The adorables in the picture above are called panda ants because of their peculiar coloration. But in fact, these insects are not bears, and not even ants – this is one of the types of Chilean wasps.

Their males have wings to fly and quickly mate with everything that lies badly. During mating games, they lift the female into the air – this is such a mating dance. Ladies are devoid of wings and crawl on the ground. After mating, they find the larvae of other insects and stick a sting-ovipositor into them.

These sadists lay their eggs directly into the bodies of their victims, so that their offspring then devour the unfortunate from the inside.

Wasp stings, or rather, the injections of her sting are incredibly painful. And with their bright coloring, these insects warn everyone around that it is better not to mess with them.

2. Bee fly

Image: Wikimedia Commons

These creatures are also called hoverflies. This is a huge family of flies that are relatives of your “favorite” pesky insects. But they look much prettier than the garbage scavengers and feed mainly on pollen and nectar of flowers.

Like most common flies , hoverflies are harmless and defenseless. But they found a way to be safe – they began to grow striped fur. After all, no one in their right mind would anger a bee, and even a large bumblebee, even more so: they have sharp stings and poison that causes severe pain. And a similar color protects the hoverflies from the encroachments of predators.

3. Vulture turtle

Video: Wikimedia Commons

She’s an alligator turtle. It got its name because of the extremely powerful jaws and protrusions on the shell, similar to the back of an alligator. It lives in the southeastern United States, mainly in the Mississippi basin.

This turtle trades in fishing. Instead of simply lying in ambush during the hunt, she actively lures prey with her tongue. Its tip is long and narrow and resembles a pink worm. The turtle burrows into the ground at the bottom and sticks out its tongue. The fish swims closer, and the reptile easily bites it in half with its jaws.

By the way, the weight of an adult turtle can exceed 100 kilograms, and in length it reaches 80 centimeters. And thanks to this, it can also bite off your fingers, so it’s better not to put them in this monster’s mouth.

4. Caterpillar snake

Image: Andreas Kay / Flickr

There is a moth with the hard-to-remember Latin name Hemeroplanes triptolemus. In adult form, he cannot boast of an impressive appearance – an ordinary gray butterfly that looks like a hefty moth.

But in the form of a caterpillar, this insect is very memorable. The fact is that it has discovered an unusual way of protection for itself – to pretend to be a snake . The rear of the caterpillar is very similar to the head of a viper. And if the insect feels danger, it inflates and raises it like a snake’s head.

Any bird that decides to profit from the larva, after that, in a panic, changes course and flies away to hell. Because no bird in their right mind will bully vipers.

Another type of butterfly, Papilio troilus, also knows how to disguise itself as snakes at a young age. But the caterpillar pretends to be a viper only when it grows up and turns green properly. But when the larva is young and brownish, it pretends to be bird droppings.

Naturally, birds will diligently fly around such a treat.

5 Alligator Beetle

Image: Pavel Kirillov / Flickr

Another kid, who is an insect, but tries with all his might to mow like a reptile. This creature is called the Suriname lantern, it is also an alligator beetle. And its front part resembles the head of a lizard.

When the beetle feels danger, it inflates its head and opens its wings, which makes it seem to the birds that in front of them is not an insect at all, but a reptile. The feathered one decides not to get involved and leaves the prey.

By the way, the name of the beetle appeared by mistake. The naturalist Maria Sibylla Merian for some reason considered that his head glows at night, and the systematizer Carl Linnaeus took this statement on faith and called the insect a lantern.

6. Spider Ant

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Look at this creature. Looks like an ant, right? This is because it wants everyone to think so. In fact, this is not an insect at all, but a spider of the species Myrmarachne formicaria. His method of disguise is called myrmecomorphy.

In general, there are more than 300 species of spiders that mimic this appearance.

Why is it necessary? Well, some spiders do it to scare off predators. The fact is that many insects avoid ants , since these harsh small bastards can kill anyone who tries to hunt them in a crowd. Therefore, all sorts of spiders, as well as some bugs, wasps and flies decide to pretend to be them – let everyone think that they are just as clear and it is dangerous to mess with them.

And other spiders do this in order to crawl into anthills with impunity and eat the stocks and larvae there. And then calmly exit through the main entrance past the guards, bowing to the locals and pretending that they have been here for a long time and know everyone.

True, there is a problem here: ants can identify their own not only by sight, but also by smell. But especially cunning spiders found a solution . They take the corpse of an ant from the colony in their jaws and walk around the anthill, pretending to be carrying a dead comrade to the cemetery. Straight Hitman: Silent Assassin in the world of insects.

7. Fake cleaner

Image: Wikimedia Commons

There are such fish – comb-toothed blennies. And one of their varieties are the so-called false cleaners. These scaly impudent fellows are unparalleled in meanness and treachery.

Many large marine life such as rays, parrot fish, pufferfish live in symbiosis with a fish called wrasse. They allow them to clean off algae and parasites. As a result, the cleaner receives food, and the one he serves receives a bonus to health and quality of life.

Because it is very unpleasant when some kind of arthropod bloodsucker sits on your belly, and you cannot take it off – you have fins.

Comb-toothed blennies, on the other hand, pretend to be cleaner wrasses, imitating their habits and appearance, swim up to a larger fish, and she lets them in without a second thought. With its jaws, the dog pulls out a piece of flesh from the victim who trusted her, and then silently swims away, as if it were necessary.

8. Margai

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Who can this creature pretend to be, you ask? You can see from it that it is a cat, you can’t deceive anyone here! It’s true: the margay, or South American long-tailed cat, doesn’t try to imitate someone else’s appearance. She fakes her voice.

Margai climbs a tree and starts yelling heart-rendingly, imitating the cries of a piebald tamarin cub – this is such a monkey. The male – and in this species it is they who take care of the offspring – runs to the branch to check if his cub is squealing there. Margai rushes to the unfortunate monkey, kills and eats. Here is a method of hunting.

By the way, the predator can also jump almost 3.7 meters up. This is not your bad cat, which, having fallen out of the window, then cannot go back into the house.

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