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Related to aposematic coloration: cryptic coloration, Mullerian mimicry



(also warning coloration and form), one of the types of protective coloration and form in animals. Aposematic coloration, which contrasts with the animal’s background, is demonstrated suddenly in response to danger and is usually combined with a threatening pose and sounds.

The back wings of certain moths of the family Sphingidae and the genus Noctuidae, as well as cicadas, locusts, and mantises, have eyelike spots or bright bands. Normally these insects are not noticeable, owing to cryptic coloration. When an enemy approaches, however, they open their back wings and unexpectedly reveal their bright coloring, which frightens off the predator. Caterpillars of the family Sphingidae assume a threatening pose, raising the front portion of the body slightly and inflating the thorax, on which eyelike spots protrude in some species. Octopuses, agamas, and chameleons assume a threatening pose and acquire vivid coloration; many reptiles also hiss. The death’s-head moth emits a sharp squeak by releasing air from its foregut.

Aposematism protects animals from predators and gives them an advantage in the struggle for life.


References in periodicals archive ?
Community structure and the evolution of aposematic coloration.
The conspicuous nudibranch Polycera quadrilineata: aposematic coloration and individual selection.
That is, I have strived to get a sample of branches that is more representative of the existing proportion of cryptic and aposematic coloration.
This group, uniform for aposematic coloration, is represented by only three taxa in figure 2, namely "Amauris," "& Amauris," and, "other Danainae," because a change from solitary to gregarious takes place within the genus Amauris, whereas all other genera are solitary.
The correlation between gregariousness and aposematic coloration in butterfly larvae has been analyzed at the generic level and at lower levels only when necessary to "catch" changes in the character life-style.
For example, consider the study of the relative timing of gregariousness and aposematic coloration in butterfly larvae (Sillen-Tullberg 1988).