Everyone loves mimicry (well, don’t you?), so we can all appreciate the photos sent by Tony Eales from Australia (his captions indented). Mimicry is not only an outstanding example of how well natural selection can mold the shape (and behavior and pheromones) of unrelated species, but also served as some of the first evidence for natural selection. After all, if you’re a creationist, there’s no obvious reason why God would create a tasty species to resemble one that is distasteful and dangerous. Check out the ant-mimicking spider in the fourth picture!
I know you like mimicry and I’ve been getting into insect photography of late and have found a few nice examples of mimicry
First a couple of ant mimics [and an ant]
This is a beetle, probably of the family Anthicidae, but I haven’t traced it further than that:
This is a fly, Parapalaeosepsis plebeia:
Here’s a larger photo from Brisbane Insects:
And this is a common sort of ant around here, often called Golden Bum or Gold Tail but, it’s a Polyrhachis sp.
Here is a species of jumping spider that imitates these ants so well it’s quite extraordinary, right down to waving their front pair of legs like antennae. This can’t be to fool the ants as they are nearly blind and work off chemical cues but probably to fool parasitic wasps which commonly catch spiders to feed their flesh-eating larvae.
Here is a species of wasp, probably Callibracon sp.:
JAC: Here’s a wasp in the same genus from Brisbane Insects:
And here are two photos of a species of bug that imitates these wasps to a t—Rayieria basifer:
And another photo of the Batesian mimic from Insects of Tas: