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Professor discovers oldest known camouflaging behavior in insects

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Green lacewing insects often cover themselves with debris from their surroundings -- vegetation, insect carcasses and anything else they can find. This ancient behavior serves as a disguise from predators. 

Michael Engel, professor of paleoentomology in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Kansas, has co-authored a study that discovered this behavior is more ancient than previously thought. In a forest in Spain researchers found a lacewing larvae encased in amber from 110 million years ago with its collection of fern pieces included on its back. 

This is the earliest occurrence of camouflaging behavior among all insects, Engel said.

Read the rest of the article from National Geographic here.