The rare Buddha moth
This weird moth is a Picture-winged leaf moth, Siculodes sp. (Thyrididae). At first glance these moths appear to be a dead leaf when viewed from above; and at bottom view seem a spider perched on a dead leaf. However, a close examination reveals that the “dead leaf” is in fact the wings of the moth, and the “spider” is its body and legs.
These moths adopt a bizarre Buddha-like posture, with its body propped up vertically by its long stilt-like legs, and its wings outstretched like a bat. The wings are a marvellous example of camouflage - perfectly disguised as a dead leaf, complete with windows to simulate the nibblings of insects, and spotted with dark areas that could easily be mistaken for left mould.
Moths from the Siculodes genus are rarely encountered. Siculodes aurorula (bottom photo) has only been recorded on very rare occasions, with just few records from Brazil, Guyana and Trinidad. It undoubtedly also occurs in Venezuela and Surinam.