The controlling mechanisms of mimicry
- Press Release
Insects often mimic to other models to protect them from predators or to prey other insects. The studies of mimicry have been carried out from the view points of ecology or ethology so far, but the controlling mechanisms of mimicry have not been studied well.
Young caterpillars (from the first to fourth instars) of the swallowtail butterfly Papilio xuthus are mimics of bird droppings with while and black patterns (Fig. 1), whereas the larger fifth larval instar has a greenish cryptic pattern that is well camouflaged among the leaves of the host plant (Fig. 2), to avoid prominence to predators.