The panda ant is neither a panda nor an ant—it’s a wasp native to Chile.
Imitation crab? Meet 6 creatures that steal others’ looks
From panda ants to alligator bugs, here are some unexpected critters that emulate iconic species.
Why would an ant resemble a panda? Or a crab look like a leopard?
There is a long list of why animals evolved to look the way they do. For some, it’s about impressing potential partners or intimidating sexual rivals, says Kevin Omland, professor of biological sciences at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. For others, it’s about camouflage, thermoregulation, or scaring off predators. Take the nonvenomous scarlet king snake. It looks just like the venomous coral snake, which helps keep potential predators away.
Some animals are intentional mimics, while some seem to have evolved the same coloration as very far flung members of the animal family tree. Check out some of the critters who can’t resist an animal print.