article-3 - Predator Mimicry: Metalmark Moths Mimic Their...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Predator Mimicry: Metalmark Moths Mimic Their Jumping Spider Predators Jadranka Rota * , David L. Wagner Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, United States of America Cases of mimicry provide many of the nature’s most convincing examples of natural selection. Here we report evidence for a case of predator mimicry in which metalmark moths in the genus Brenthia mimic jumping spiders, one of their predators. In controlled trials, had higher survival rates than other similarly sized moths in the presence of jumping spiders and jumping spiders responded to with territorial displays, indicating that were sometimes mistaken for jumping spiders, and not recognized as prey. Our experimental results and a review of wing patterns of other insects indicate that jumping spider mimicry is more widespread than heretofore appreciated, and that jumping spiders are probably an important selective pressure shaping the evolution of diurnal insects that perch on vegetation. Citation: Rota J, Wagner DL (2006) Predator Mimicry: Metalmark Moths Mimic Their Jumping Spider Predators. PLoS ONE 1(1): e45. doi:10.1371/ journal.pone.0000045 INTRODUCTION The phenomenon of mimicry, a high degree of resemblance due to selection, was first proposed in 1862 by Sir Walter Henry Bates upon his return from eleven years as a professional collector in Amazon. Writing about butterfly wing patterns, Bates noted, ‘‘… on these expanded membranes Nature writes, as on a tablet, the story of the modifications of species…’’ Bates proposed that longwings and other butterflies gain protection by mimicking distasteful species and that the resemblances among such unrelated insects lent support to Charles Darwin’s newly proposed theory of natural selection [1]. Since Bates’s initial contribution various cases of mimicry have been identified from across the tree of life. In this paper, we describe a curious form of Batesian mimicry – again involving the wing patterns of Lepidoptera – in which prey (metalmark moths) obtain protection by mimicking their predators (jumping spiders) (Fig. 1). Many examples of Batesian and Mu ¨llerian mimicry and camouflage have been described [1–4]. Even cases of aggressive mimicry, where predators mimic prey, are known (e.g., females of Photuris fireflies lure males of different firefly species to their death by mimicking their courtship signals [5]). However, predator mimicry – cases in which prey have evolved to mimic their predators to thwart predation attempts – are both exceptional and rare. Predator mimicry was suggested for owls, where owl ear tufts mimic mammalian predators for protection from such predators as lynx, fox, and marten [6]. Another potential case of predator mimicry is among South American cichlids: coloration and spotting of certain prey species makes them so similar to their predators that they are thought to be their mimics [7]. Eyespots on
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 4

article-3 - Predator Mimicry: Metalmark Moths Mimic Their...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online