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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/617

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ANIMAL SELF DEFENSE.

however, from the analogy of many other eases, that the habits of the insect are such as still further to aid its deceptive garb: but we are Dot obliged to make any such supposition, since I myself had the good fortune to observe scores of Kallima paralekta, in Sumatra, and to capture many of them, and can vouch for the accuracy of the following details: These butterflies frequent dry forests and fly very swiftly. They were never seen to settle on a flower or a green leaf, but were many times lost sight of in a bush or tree of dead leaves. On such occasions they were generally searched for in vain, for, while gazing intently at the very spot where one had disappeared, it would suddenly dart out, and again vanish twenty or fifty yards farther on; on one or two occasions the insect was detected reposing, and it could then be seen how completely it assimilates itself to the surrounding leaves. It sits on a nearly upright twig, the wings fitting closely back to back, concealing the antennæ and head, which are drawn up between their bases. The little tails of the hind wing touch the branch, and form a perfect stalk to the leaf, which is supported in its place by the claws of the middle pair of feet, which are slender and inconspicuous. The irregular outline of the wings gives exactly the perspective effect of a shriveled leaf. We have thus size, color, form, markings, and habits, all combining together to produce a disguise which may be said to be absolutely perfect: and the protection which it affords sufficiently indicated by the abundance of the individuals which posses it." PSM V21 D617 A wingless orthopterous insect.jpgFig. 6.Phasma sp., a wingless orthopterous insect. Of the walking-stick in Wallace says: "Some of these are a foot long and as thick as one's finger, and their whole coloring, form, rugosity, and the arrangement of the head. lees, and antennæ, are such as to render them absolutely identical in appearance with dry sticks. They hang; loosely about shrubs in the forest, and have the extraordinary habit of stretching out their legs unsymmetrically so as to render the deception more complete." The counterfeiting is carried even to the imperfections and injuries of the objects copied. Still speaking of the walking-stick insects, Wallace says: "One of these creatures, obtained by myself in Borneo, was covered over with foliaceous excrescences of a clear olive-green color, so as exactly to resemble a stick grown over by a creeping moss or jungermannia. The Dyak who brought it assured me it was grown over with moss, although alive: and it was only after a