Butterfly Mimicry

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Butterfly mimicry is a form of protective coloration where a given species, commonly referred to as the mimic, increases its chance of survival by visually resembling a harmful species, the model, such that the receiver of the signal, the predator (e.g., birds, reptiles, or predatory insects who attack and consume butterflies), gets confused between the two and avoids the mimic (Ruxton et al. 2004). The model can either be a different species of butterfly or an entirely different species of animal. In its broadest sense, butterfly mimicry may also involve a third category, a camouflage strategy known as Masquerade, in which butterflies mimic inanimate objects such as leaves, bits of lichen, or patches of tree bark (Ruxton et al. 2004). Traditionally, however, there are two main types of mimicry, and these are...
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science
EditorsTodd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford
PublisherSpringer, Cham
ISBN (Electronic)9783319169996
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2017

Publication series

NameBehavioral Science and Psychology


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