An open-eyed hiker can spot lots of well-camouflaged insects, like this European mantis (Mantis religiosa
). Although they blend in extremely well, these mantids aren’t natives. They hitched a ride from Europe to North America in 1899 on a shipment of nursery plants. Mantids have extremely good eyesight, which helps them detect movement of prey. They have a fully articulated head which they can pivot and swivel 180 degrees. They use their antennae for smell. These defenses help the mantis avoid predators like the tarantula, which would consider it a tasty morsel.