Rain forest animals that camouflage

butterfly image by JASON WINTER from Fotolia.com

According to the Tropical Rain Forest Information Center, more than half of the animals on earth are found in the rainforests of Central and South America, Africa, Madagascar and South East Asia. These rainforests cover approximately 7 per cent of the earth’s surface. Some rainforest animals have adapted ways to blend in with their environments using camouflage in order to avoid predators. There are numerous animals in the rainforest that camouflage.

Cryptic Katydid

The cryptic katydid is an insect in the family Tettigoniidae, along with crickets, grasshoppers and leafhoppers. They live in the rainforest understory or carpet, hidden among the small trees, shrubs and thickets. They are able to avoid predators by resembling the colour, texture and size of rainforest leaves.


The chameleon is a remarkable creature that can change its skin pigments to match its natural surroundings in order to avoid detection by predators. The camouflage is a chemical reaction triggered by the time of day, the temperature, the type of lighting and the chameleon’s temperament. They live in trees of the understory and canopy of rainforests.

Two-Toed Sloth

The two-toed sloth lives a solitary life in the trees of the rainforest canopy. According to the Rainforest Action Network, the sloth is one of the earth’s slowest animals, moving so little and so slowly that green algae has time to grow on its fur. The green algae, along with the sloth's brown fur, acts as camouflage, helping it to blend into the surrounding green and brown foliage.

Owl Butterfly

The owl butterfly lives in the dense rainforests of Central America and the northern part of South America. They spend most of the early mornings and evenings flying around feeding on plants and insects. Their days are spent resting on the bark of trees, where their bark-like pattern and colour camouflage them from predators. They also have distinctive large, circular owl-like eye patterns on their wings that help to discourage birds that might want them for a snack.

Fer-de-Lance Snake

The fer-de-lance snake is a poisonous pit viper that lives in the rainforest undercarpet or floor and the understory of both Central and South America. Its multi-patterned colouring of browns, blacks and whites helps it to blend in with rainforest debris such as decaying leaves, brush and twigs. Its camouflage is used to not only avoid its only predator (humans), but also to hide from its prey (birds and small mammals) in order to catch them unaware.

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