DragonflyIssuesInEvolution13 Wiki

Butterflies Camouflage and Mimicry (10 27 12)

Butterfly mimicry


Competition for survival is an essential evolutionary component. Species communication is complicated because the same signals that alerts receivers of critical changes that support and elicit a specific response, has also been manipulated or exploited by a signaler or receiver in a way that no longer benefits the other species. []

Mimicry of orb-web spider[]

This evolution of mimicry, known as sensory exploitation, has helped many species including the orb-web spider which takes advantage of the sensory predisposition of their prey by drawing them in with

Argiope orb web spider

Argiope orb web spider

ultraviolet reflecting body color (Heiling & Herberstein, 2004). In other words, these dynamic changes in evolution through natural selection have benefited some species while creating a disadvantage for other species.

Heiling, A. M., & Herberstein, M. E. (2004). Predator-prey coevolution: Australian native bees avoid their spider predators. Proceedings Of The Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 271(SUPPL. 4), S196-S198.

Viceroy or Monarch?[]

The viceory is famous for its sesnory exploitation of the migratory monarch butterfly. The larva stage of the monarch is known to eat milkweed which actually causes the adult stage to continue to contain the presence of the cardiac glycosides which means that they are distasteful or even poisonous to predators. The viceroy has been able to mimic the wing coloration of the monarch as an evolutionary advantage to survival. This example of sensory exploitation is only one piece of the evolutionary history of the viceroy (Ritland & Brower, 1991).

Ritland, D. B., & Brower, L. P. (1991). Mimicry and viceroy butterflies [9]. Nature, 353(6339), 24.