Category Archives: mimicry

Adorable (and cryptic) golden plover chicks

As usual, Matthew Cobb is the fount of all animal tw**ts. Here are two good ones: chicks of what I guess to be the European golden plover, Pluvialis apricaria. Very late golden plover hatchlings. Still beautiful! #fieldwork pic.twitter.com/yDBIxhTF0O — Camilo Carneiro (@Camilo_Carneiro) July 16, 2017 I have no idea whether this is camouflage for a mossy […]

Sunday morning mimicry

I needn’t explain why I’m so fascinated with the phenomenon of animal and plant mimicry, so let us just marvel at two examples this Sunday morning as we worship at the church of Our Lady of Perpetual Naturalism. Both were found by Matthew Cobb, and both were retweeted by Gil Wizen from the same source, […]

Cuttlefish mimics hermit crab

I talk a lot about mimicry on this site, and I’ve explained why: it’s good evidence for natural selection, poses testable hypotheses, and, not least, provides some amazing examples of the power of natural selection—especially because in many cases of mimicry we can identify the “target of selection”: the optimum phenotype that provides the greatest fitness. […]

Guess the mimic

From entomologist/photographer Alex Wild, courtesy of Matthew Cobb: This is not an ant. pic.twitter.com/Kj8Z9Pvs8G — Alex Wild (@Myrmecos) June 3, 2017

Two remarkable cases of mimicry

Both of these cases were found by Matthew Cobb on Twi**er, and I’ve enlarged the photos at the bottom: A pile of broken sticks: 2 Buff-tip Moths. NW Worcestershire, 27 May 2017. #teammoth pic.twitter.com/XewN1qeBBl — Moths & Mothing (@j_sparey) May 28, 2017 and Leaf Katydid (Phyllomimus sp., Pseudophyllinae, Tettigoniidae)https://t.co/wsKV1K1pkn #insect #China #itchydogimages #entomology pic.twitter.com/6iDP96h9nN — […]

Readers’ wildlife photographs

We have a melange of photos today (don’t forget to send yours in!).  The first shows a lovely bird, and is contributed by reader Don Breden: Here’s a rose-breasted grosbeak [Pheucticus ludovicianus] visiting the deck on a rainy Mother’s Day . . . Such a beautiful bird and a fine songster, too.  The ornithologist at the […]

Sunday: Hili dialogue

UPDATE: Okay, everything historical listed happened on May 8, so just reread this tomorrow! Blame it on my writing it at 4:30 am _________ Good morning on Ceiling Cat’s Day: Sunday, May 7, 2017. It’s a beautiful day in Chicago, though chilly, with a predicted high of only 50° F (10° C). Although Holi—the Indian spring […]

A remarkable case of mimicry: katydid nymph mimics ant

The nymphs (juvenile stages) of katydids—orthopterans from the family Tettigoniidae—nymphs look pretty much like miniature katydids; here’s a screenshot of what you see when you do a Google image search for “katydid nymph” (click to enlarge): But one species, at least, has modified its nymph stage to look like a hymenopteran. Here’s a photo by […]

A mantis showing “special resemblance”

by Greg Mayer We’ve often highlighted here at WEIT the remarkable phenomena associated with mimicry, the often marvelously detailed resemblance of organic beings to other organic or inorganic features of their environment. On a trip to Costa Rica in January, while out for a nightwalk at La Selva Biological Station with Jon Losos, we came […]

A clever new hypothesis about insect mimicry

Over the years I’ve written here about several kinds of mimicry. The most common subjects have been Batesian mimicry, in which the evolutionary scenario involves three species: an easily identifiable and noxious or toxic model, a predator that learns (or has evolved) to avoid the model (signal receiver), and an edible mimic that evolves to resemble the model. You can […]