Remarkable katydid leaf mimics whose sexes are different colors

Why Evolution Is True

Ready for another science post? The laws of physics deemed that today there would be two.

A new paper in the Journal of Orthhoptera Research by Sigfrid Ingrisch et al. (free link if you join Researchgate [also free]; reference below) describes two recently-discovered and newly-described katydids from Sabah (part of Malaysia on the northern part of Borneo). I’m busy today and can’t write about this at length (and, in truth, you don’t need to know more than what I’m putting down here), but have a look at the abstract, which notes the vein-like structures that curve backwards on the “tegmen” (forewing), making them resembles the veins of leaves. In one species the females are reddish-pink, like young leaves, while males are green—a remarkable case of sexual dimorphism. (The males of the other species haven’t been found yet.) These are clearly leaf mimics, though there’s an issue with coloration (see below)…

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