The rainforests of the world are places of incredibly diverse, mysterious, and beautiful animals. Often times a lot of what we consider biologically impossible does in fact occur in the tropics. Part of this is due to the fact that rainforests are areas of almost unchanging plant and animal growth. They’re ancient places that don’t experience drastic climate change, and as a result, organisms are granted a stable environment that allows for hyper-specialization. What this means: there are animals in the rainforest that look and do things we can’t even imagine. Hymenopus coronatus, or the orchid mantis, is one such example of hyper-specialization. Hymenopus is an interesting case of both crypsis and aggressive mimicry. It looks exactly like a Phalaeonopsis orchid blossom, and will even perch in a such a way that better mimics the shape. When threatened, it falls to the forest floor like an old flower blossom. However, while appearance helps it avoid detection from predators, it’s also used to lure in prey items. Hymenopus can reflect UV light off of its body, giving off a pattern exactly like that of orchid blossoms. In fact, studies have shown its more reflective than real flower blossoms, meaning Hymenopus doesn’t need to be near flowers to hunt. In addition to this, Hymenopus also has an additional tool. Large juvenile females have been found to release a communication pheromone, typically used by Apis cerana, the oriental honeybee. This pheromone actually brings the bee to the mantis, where it is then grabbed out of the air and devoured. By employing both chemical and aggressive mimicry, Hymenopus is able to readily prey upon nectar feeding insects!