As I’m in a rush preparing to leave (and Wildlife Photo posts take a while to put up), so let me be lazy and post three tweets sent by the estimable Matthew Cobb, who follows Twi**er. They are all animal-related, so they fit here.
Since I’m not taking readers’ wildlife photos with me, if you send some when I’m gone, they’ll likely be posted almost immediately. But be sure the photos are good!
First, this one. Now the resemblance to a jumping spider is conjectural, but it sure looks like one to me. The question is this: the predators who presumably avoid this butterfly because of the markings must have had some experience encountering jumping spiders (otherwise they wouldn’t learn to avoid them—or have evolved to avoid them). But the predators on butterflies are often birds, and these aren’t attacked by jumping spiders. Your quiz question: if this is indeed an evolved mimetic pattern, what would be the selective pressures that could produce it?
Here’s one jumping spider for comparison. The prediction, of course, is that there must be a jumping spider with nasty effects on some butterfly predator living in the same area as the gemmed satyr. According to Wikipedia, the butterfly, (Cyllopsis gemma) is a nymphalid found in the SE US and NE Mexico.
Now, for a certain case of mimicry, have a look at this photo. Nope, that’s not a bee but a MOTH (note the antennae).
This is a truly remarkable case of mimicry. As the Flickr page describes:
Clear-winged Moth (Sesiidae). YES! A moth!
I see my fair share of Lepidopteran wasp mimics, but this is the most convincing bee mimic I could imagine.
Pu-er, Yunnan, China
Here’s a screenshot I took from the Flickr picture so you can see the mimicry better:
And finally, some lovely mountain gorillas. What are they saying? (Be sure to put the sound on.)