By Amy Walters
THIS ADORABLE gecko looked like it was wearing a crown when a one-inch mantis landed on its head.
In one image, the day gecko sat on top of a branch and waited for a tasty treat to fly by as it stuck out its tongue in readiness to pounce.
Another image captured the adorable moment that the six-inch gecko smiled with glee as an orchid mantis flew over and sat on top of the gecko’s head – resembling a crown.
The cute snaps were shot by photographer Dzul Dzulfikri (48) from Beksai, Indonesia, who witnessed the reptile and insect get acquainted in his back garden from just 11-inches away. The friendly day gecko – a pet of Dzul’s friend – sat calmly whilst the mantis stood on its head.
Dzul used a Canon 5D MK IV camera and a Canon 100mm macro L series lens and shared these images on his Instagram, @dzulfikri72.
“The mantis came over to the gecko and jumped on top of its head. I believe the mantis was trying to escape from the gecko, but somehow it ended up sitting on top of the reptile instead,” Dzul said.
“I was surprised as the gecko didn’t try to eat the mantis and instead pulled a big smile as if it was really happy to have made a new friend.
“I was around eleven-inches away from the gecko and as it’s a very exotic species – especially in Indonesia – they can be very difficult to come by, so I was glad that I didn’t scare it off and was able to get these shots.
“I was so excited to capture these photos as they make me very happy and it’s rare to see a gecko sit so calmly around an insect that they would usually try to eat as a tasty treat.”
The day gecko is a species native to Mauritius and Madagascar and is usually active in daylight. The orchid mantis is native to southeast Asia and can grow up to two-and-a-half inches long.