There seems to be a mimicry complex in eastern North America based on the pattern of dark-winged beetles with orange heads or pronotal regions. All seem to fly rather slowly, with elytra or other parts spread prominently. The Lycidae are known to be toxic--see Eisner, For the Love of Insects
, for instance. (ref:TBA) Other groups may be toxic as well, thus Mullerian mimics, or quite edible, thus Batesian mimics. Eric Eaton has mentioned that Lampyridae are also generally toxic, so some of these may mimic Fireflies instead of, or in addition to, Lycids. Some members of this complex might include:
, the presumptive models.
Examples are Plateros
(Leaf Beetles), such as:
, a firefly:
Quite diurnal, and I often mistake it for a Lycid when I see it flying.
, a moth:
, a Dance fly with red eyes:
This flies with widened hind-legs spread out. This is supposed to be a sexual signal, but perhaps it provides some protection via mimicry of toxic beetles as well.
Surely there must be others. Comments?