Pephricus1  True Bug 27 03 2014

If you're not looking carefully, you'll probably overlook this guy as just a piece of dead leaf. And because of that superb camouflage, this true bug known as Pephricus (of the family Coreidae) is rarely seen in the wild, even though it's a fairly common critter.

At home in bushes and grasslands, it can occasionally be spotted walking on the ground (tip for the bug hunters out there: the walk is often jerky, which is what can give it away). Despite those scary spines and appendages, it's a gentle bug and won't bite, so go on and hold it up to be admired. A committed vegetarian that feeds on plant sap, much like the leafhopper, it injects the stems of fresh shoots with its long needle-like rostrum, which lies neatly tucked away under its body.

And it might not look like it, but Pephricus can fly - take a careful look at the photos and you'll see a pair of delicate wings folded flat on its back. 

Pephricus2 True Bug 27 03 2014
Image: Peter Webb
Pephricus3_true_bug 27 03 2014
Image: Peter Webb

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