Category Archives: mimicry

Protected and aggressive mimics

Young false cleanerfish relies on disguise to bite other fishes It is beneficial to look like cleanerfish, Misaki Fujisawa and colleagues show. By mimicking cleanerfish, false cleanerfish prevent attack by predatory fish. Also, they can approach other fishes and take … Continue reading

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Unrewarded services

Orchid utilizes fungi and fruit flies without paying The orchid Gastrodia pubilabiata lives at the expense of other species. It steals sugars from fungi, which also attract fruit flies that provide pollination service, as Kenji Suetsugu shows, without receiving any … Continue reading

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Deceit, abuse and benefits

Complex relationships between arum, blowflies and lizard With its smell of rotting carrion, the dead-horse arum Helicodiceros muscivorus is irresistible to blowflies and a lizard. The blowflies will be abused, the lizard benefits. Ana Pérez-Cembranos and colleagues unraveled these complex … Continue reading

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Double deceit

Female cuckoo chuckle call is embarrassing for songbirds By first laying her egg secretively and then giving a loud chuckle call while leaving, a female cuckoo doesn’t seem to behave in a consistent way. But her call adds to her … Continue reading

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Floral dress

Pollinators are deceived by flower mimicking crab spider The spider Epicadus heterogaster is coloured strikingly like a flower, and bees are lured by the colour to become prey, as Camila Vieira and colleagues show. The masquerade is completed by a conspicuous abdomen, … Continue reading

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Successful imitation

Jumping spider cheats predators by walking like an ant The jumping spider Myrmarachne formicaria successfully imitates the walk of ants, misleading larger spiders that hunt for critters. The predators often refrain from attacking the jumping spider, as much as they … Continue reading

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Biting prey

Fish with venomous fangs have many imitators Meiacanthus fish species are armed with venomous fangs that deter predators. Many nonvenomous fish species protect themselves from being attacked by mimicking the aposematic colours and the behaviour of Meiacanthus species. A large … Continue reading

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Tiny scarecrow

Red-winged blackbird flinches from whistling caterpillar It is funny when the tiny caterpillar of the walnut sphinx Amorpha juglandis suddenly emits a high-pitched noise. Thus sound scares birds, as Amanda Dookie and colleagues witnessed, so that they will refrain from picking … Continue reading

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The trick of a snake

Puff adder sticks out its tongue to lure a frog A South African frog that perceives and approaches a tasty worm may be deceived. The worm may turn out to be the tongue of a snake, as Xavier Glaudas and … Continue reading

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An uninvited guest

Frog breeds safely and undisturbed among leafcutter ants Leafcutter ants ignore the frog Lithodytes lineatus when it breeds in their nests. They simply do not notice him, André Lima Barros and colleagues show, because the frog is chemically camouflaged. Ants … Continue reading

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