Feigning Death Behaviours
We found that Bladder Cicada uses the 'play dead' trick to escape from
predators. On a early summer day we found a male Bladder Cicada singing on a
tree on a suburban street. We got close to take some pictures. May be we came
too close, the cicada dropped itself onto the ground. It just lying on ground
without any motion, just like dead. We used a small stick to disturb it and
there was no response at all. We stopped the distortion, just wait and see.
About a minute later, the cicada rolled back on foot and slowly walk away.
The 'play dead' trick is quite common in the insects world. We saw at least
some bugs, stick insects
will do this when facing with danger. This trick sometimes work because some
predators do not eat dead or motionless prey. For those insects with camouflage
pattern may work even better. The insect drops onto a new background and stays
still, the predator may not found it again.
- When disturbed, the weevil dropped on the ground and play dead. We put it
on hand and it slowly walked back to the leaf.
- Red Green Spined Shield Bug
- Morna florens, body length 10mm
- This is one of the rear insect that we found in mid-winter. This little
green bug was hiding between the pine leaves. We found few of them easily on
the same pine tree in Wishart bushland. The bugs are green colour with red
spots on their head and back. They have the sharp spiny shoulder. When
disturbed, the bug drops onto the ground and play dead. So we took its
bottom picture easily. Its bottom is even more colourful, with green,
orange, yellow and white patterns. After a while, it quickly moved away and
hided under the dry leaf.
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