This photo may have been staged to accentuate the mimicry of this buff-tip moth (Phalara bucephala), but there’s little doubt that it evolved to resemble a broken twig. It’s another remarkable case of the efficacy of natural selection. Note how its head (a feature that birds often look for) is appressed to the twig to […]
Category Archives: mimicry
I guess the readers correctly identified this morning’s butterfly as the Comma Butterfly, Polygonia c-album (also known as the “anglewing” for obvious reasons), though I don’t know how it got that weird Latin binomial. It’s remarkably cryptic, and here’s the picture reader John took when the beast was removed from the background: The white comma-shaped […]
Here’s a remarkable case of a felid mimicking a hot beverage. I’m not sure of the adaptive significance of this, as no known nonhuman predators are known to drink cappuccinos. One tuxedo cat has transgressed, and appears to be apologizing to another. So sweet! Be sure to watch to the end: Finally, what is labelled […]
We simply must have some mimicry for Darwin Day, for mimetic animals provided some of the earliest evidence for natural selection. This picture, by the ace photographer Igor Siwanowicz, is of a flower-mimicking mantid. The hornswaggled pollinators get eaten, of course. Can you spot the mantid? From Twitter via Matthew Cobb ~
[JAC note: As Matthew emphasizes below, the second video is a bit gruesome, so read the notes before you watch it. As for Matthew's Nightjar Fetish, we're still trying to get him help.] by Matthew Cobb From the number of photos we’ve posted here, I think by now we’re all convinced that nightjar camouflage is […]
by Matthew Cobb You see?—I told you it was easy. You can see its closed eye, a horizontal slit, on the right of the oval.
by Matthew Cobb Here it is. It’s very young, so hard to see. But it is right in the middle, which is where you’d expect it to be, unless @SensoryEcology had cunningly cropped the photo… I trust all those maths folk back at the -1/12 post won’t say *this* post is all wrong.
[Note by JAC: Matthew's addiction to photos of cryptic nightjars is becoming a serious problem for him, and I've advised him to get professional help for the anxiety he experiences when trying to spot the damn birds. However, his doctors have advised me that, until he's cured, I should humor him by allowing him to […]
Since Professor Ceiling Cat is in bed, temporarily laid low by some microorganism (but still working), he thought he’d add some extra biology to the website, to wit: a remarkable case of mimicry in Felis catus. This was sent independently by several readers:
by Matthew Cobb This video, posted by Chris Hassall, shows a hoverfly – NOT a wasp – sitting on a leaf. You can tell it’s a fly because it’s only got one pair of wings (it’s a DI-pteran), and those wings aren’t folded longways when at rest. Plus both the eyes and the antennae are […]