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Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717)

Branch of Water Lemon with Snout Moth, Brush-Footed Butterfly larva and Flag-Footed Bug 1702-03

RCIN 921175

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The function of the brightly coloured flanges of the flag-legged bug at lower centre is not certain. Some species wave their legs to scare off predators, whereas others seem to use them as decoy devices that induce an attacking bird to peck at the ‘flag’ rather than at the body of the bug.