Decorative Crypsis Display by Synchlora spp. (Lepidoptera: Geometridae)
The ability to camouflage oneself and the level of that camouflage is often a matter of life and death for an insect. Adults and larvae employ static strategies such as adapting their shape, pigmentation, and color patterns to disguise themselves. Some insects can modify themselves in response to the environment. Still, others, larvae, in particular, adorn themselves with leaf and flower parts, frass, lichens, dead insects, soil particles, small rocks, and other organic material to disguise themselves or create protective covers in a display known as decorative crypsis.
Synchlora caterpillars use silk to attach plant material and flower parts such as bits of leaves, anthers, and pieces of petals to their dorsal surface to hide in plain sight from predators. Host plants for Synchlora include plants in the family Asteraceae.