Animal Camouflage Pictures and Information for Kids


There are four basic types of camouflage:


  1. Concealing coloration

    Concealing coloration is when an animal hides itself against a background of the same color. For example, animals such as the snow shoe hare, snowy owl and polar bears in the Arctic have white coloring to blend in with the snow that surrounds them. In the deserts and grasslands many animals have tan and brown coloration that helps them blend into the background.

  2. Disruptive coloration

    Disruptive coloration is when animals have spots, stripes, or patterns to break up their outline so it doesn't stick out against the background. Animals like zebras, leopards, tigers and some fish use this type of camouflage.

  3. Disguise

    Disguise is when animals blend in with their surroundings by looking like another object. An insect that looks like a branch or leaf is using a costume to hide from predators. Walking sticks, some katydids and leaf insects use this type of camouflage.

  4. Mimicry

    Mimicry is when animals or insects look like other dangerous, bad tasting or poisonous animals or insects. They pretend to be what they are not. Some snakes, butterflies and moths use this type of camouflage. Examples are the scarlet king snake, the hawk moth and the Viceroy butterfly.


Concealing Coloration Camouflage

Camouflage Concealing Coloration  Snowy Owl

The snowy owl's beautiful white feathers help to hide it in its Arctic habitat.

Camouflage Concealing Coloration Green Tree Frog

The green tree frog's bright green color helps them to hide successfully in trees and grass.

This ability to blend into their surroundings may be their best defense from predators.

Camouflage Concealing Coloration Brown Deer

Adult white-tail deer have reddish-brown coats in summer which fade to a duller grayish-brown in winter.

Their earth tone colors help keep them hidden from predators.



Disruptive Camouflage

Zebra disruptive coloration camouflage

The zebra's disruptive coloration helps break up it's outline in a herd.

This makes it difficult for other animals such as lions to see it.


Disruptive coloraton camouflage. Fish. The raccoon butterfly fish uses the black and yellow coloration patterns to make it hard for a predator to single out an individual in a group.
Disruptive coloration. Leopard. Leopards' spotted coats also called rosette, helps to camouflage them in grass and tall brush while they hunt.



Disguise Camouflage

Disguise camouflage. Walking stick.

The walking stick is an insect that looks like a stick or twig.

It uses this disguise to hide from predators.

Disguise camouflage. katydid.

I am a leaf katydid. I am an insect that looks like a green leaf.

I disguise myself to look like the plants I live on.

Disguise camouflage. Thornbugs

The Thorn Bug. I disguise myself to resemble a thorn on a plant.




Mimicry Camouflage

Mimicry camouflage - Elephant Hawk Caterpillar

The elephant hawk caterpillar has two false eyes to frighten off predators.

It raises it's head and moves from side to side like a snake.

Coral Snake-Scarlet Kingsnake comparison

The non-poisonous scarlet kingsnakes, have coloration and patterning which can cause predators to confuse them with the poisonous Coral Snake.

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Monarch and Viceroy Butterflys. Mimicry camouflage example.

The Viceroy butterfly mimics the look of the poisonous Monarch butterfly so that predators will avoid eating her.

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