Category Archives: mimicry

A caterpillar mimics an onycophoran

Here’s a weird case of mimicry—or potential mimicry—involving an onycophoran and a caterpillar in Ecuador. It’s in American Entomologist, and is free (click on screenshot below, or see the pdf here). First, in case you don’t know what an onycophoran is, it’s a group of 177 known species that occupy a single phylum, the Onycophora, which […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

Reader Mark Sturtevant has returned with a series of insect pictures that he sent on March 28. His notes are indented, and be sure to note the instances of mimicry and the weird mantidfly in the last two photos. Here are some insect photos for WEIT. The first picture is a nice wood nymph butterfly […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

Reader/biologist Jacques Hausser from Switzerland sends us another batch of lovely orthopterans (see here and here for parts I and II). Jacques’s notes are indented: The third group of Orthopterans, the grasshoppers sensu stricto (suborder Caelifera) can be easily told apart from the Ensifera (bushcrickets/katydids and crickets) by their rather short and sturdy antennae and […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

Today we have reader Tony Eales’s photos from Australia, featuring insect and spider mimicry. His notes are indented. Some more camouflage and mimicry. First I can’t stop photographing these ant-mimicking Jumping Spiders. This photo at least gives a bit of scale for how small these little arachnids are. It’s a Myrmarachne cf luctuosa. These are relatively common, […]

Monday: Hili dialogue

Good morning on a snowy Monday (January 15, 2018); I’ll have some snow pictures shortly. It’s holiday in the U.S. since it’s Martin Luther King Day (always the third Monday in January, and, as you’ll see below, it’s also King’s actual birthday). Here’s today’s Google Doodle about King. Here are the final minutes of King’s […]

A Müllerian mimicry ring

Professor Ceiling Cat continues to be distressed at the lack of interest (reflected in comments, at least) on the science posts: those posts that are the hardest to write. Nevertheless, he persists. Here is a likely example of aposematic (warningly colored) mimics in different orders of insects having evolved to resemble each other (tweet courtesy […]

Caterpillar mimics scorpion or ant

Matthew emitted this tw**t showing what looks to be a remarkable case of mimicry: a caterpillar (Lepidopteran larva) mimicking a scorpion, and ant, or both. Scorpions are of course not insects but arachnids (like spiders) and have eight legs. Nevertheless, the mimicry is remarkable, and it’s hard to believe that this is anything but a […]

Frog and snake: mimicry or not?

Julius Csotonyi, described by Wikipedia as a Canadian “paleoartist” (illustrator of ancient life) and a natural history illustrator, has done some fantastic artwork, including producing dinosaur images for Canadian coins. You can see a lot of his art at his website. But now Csotonyi may have detected a case of Batesian mimicry between a tree frog […]

Readers’ wildlife photos (and video)

Today we have a potpourri of miscellaneous photos (and one video). Tara Tanaka sends a specimen of my favorite genre of animal videos: newborn ducklings leaping into the water from their elevated nest. These are wood ducks (Aix sponsa), and there are only two this time (but see below). Here are Tara’s video notes (be […]

Here’s the katydid!

Did you find it? Here’s the original picture by Siggy, followed by the reveal, and then a photo of the insect on the lumber where he found it and on the lichen it seems to mimic. Original: Reveal: On a board: On lichen: Siggy added this: I found this PDF that seems to describe the same […]