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Batesian mimicry

Pipevine Swallowtail - Battus philenor - male Red-spotted Purple? - Limenitis arthemis queen Eastern Yellowjacket - Vespula maculifrons - female Syrphid- Spilomyia longicornis - Spilomyia longicornis Polistes exclamans for California in April - Polistes exclamans - female Wasp Mantidfly - Climaciella brunnea
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
No Taxon (Glossary)
No Taxon (B)
No Taxon Batesian mimicry
Explanation of Names
Originally described by Henry Bates and named in his honor.
Batesian mimicry - a type of mimicry where a palatable species (the mimic) resembles an unpalatable or well-defended species (the model), thus gaining protection from predation. Contrast with Mullerian mimicry. Examples abound among butterflies and other groups. Batesian mimicry may occur across unrelated taxa, e.g., moths mimicking beetles, flies mimicking wasps. Here are several sets of examples, with the format model <-- mimic(s). Note that some of these are well-accepted in the literature, and others are suggested mimicry associations.

Note that it is often difficult, in practice, to determine if a particular organism is a Batesian or a Mullerian mimic, and that there may be a spectrum of relationships among different organisms. Early work, for instance, suggested that the Viceroy (right) was a Batesian mimic of the Monarch (left):


However, at least one later study (Ritland and Brower, 1991) suggested that the Viceroy was equally as unpalatable to birds as the Monarch--the mimicry should be considered Mullerian.
See Also
Batesian mimicry
Print References
Gordh, A Dictionary of Entomology, p. 104 (1)
Ritland and Brower (1991). The viceroy butterfly is not a batesian mimic. Nature 350, 497 - 498 (11 April 1991); doi:10.1038/350497a0 (abstract)
Internet References
Wikipedia: Mimicry
Univ. of Florida, Book of Insect Records--Most Spectacular Batesian Mimicry
Works Cited
1.A Dictionary of Entomology
George Gordh, David H. Headrick. 2003. CABI Publishing.