Ever since I got interested in nature, I have always had this feeling that there are creatures constantly watching me. Also, the feeling that I have missed more than I have seen has often bothered me. And I have often wondered why I don’t get to see them.

The answer seems to be in the ability of organisms to blend in with their surroundings – in other words – camouflage! Over the years, I have come across creatures, predominantly small ones – both prey and predators, that have evolved some amazing camouflage.

In this photo feature, I bring you a dozen images from my collection representing insects, spiders and reptiles – all of which are very well camouflaged in their respective habitats. This is an attempt to showcase some of my observations of these beautifully camouflaged beings! I know the nagging feeling that I have missed something is still there and will continue to bother me. Don’t blame me if you start feeling likewise after seeing the images below!

I would like to thank Shyamal for identifying some of the insects that are featured here.

Flying Lizard (Draco dussumieri) – Dubare: The presence of this lizard becomes obvious only when it moves or when it is extending and collapsing the bright yellow gular sac.

Bark Gecko (Hemidactylus leschenaultii) – Bheemeshwari: Seen living on trees and difficult to spot even for a trained eye.

Two-tailed Spider (Hersilia sp.) – Kabini: This spider can be seen most often on trees.

Bug – Bangalore: This bug was sitting in a fissure on the bark of the tree and completely motionless.

Bug – Bangalore: This nymph is another example of stunning camouflage.

Plant Hopper – Bangalore: The pattern on the hopper is so deceptively similar to the bark of a tree during the drier months.

Praying Mantis – Bangalore: This mantis lives almost entirely on trees and has colour forms that blend with trees on which it is!

Praying Mantis (Gongylus sp.) – Kabini: Though I had seen individuals of this in Bangalore many years ago, seeing and photographing this was very exciting. It is interesting to see how all these creatures always seem to find the right substrate to blend in!