batesian mimicry

batesian mimicry

noun Ecology.

  1. the protective resemblance in appearance of a palatable or harmless species, as the viceroy butterfly, to an unpalatable or dangerous species, as the monarch butterfly, that is usually avoided by predators.


  1. zoology mimicry in which a harmless species is protected from predators by means of its resemblance to a harmful or inedible species

  1. A form of protective mimicry in which an unprotected species (the mimic) closely resembles an unpalatable or harmful species (the model), and therefore is similarly avoided by predators. The close resemblance between certain harmless flies and stinging bees, and the similarity between the colored stripes of the nonpoisonous king snake and those of the highly venomous coral snake, are examples of Batesian mimicry. Batesian mimicry is named after the British naturalist Henry Walter Bates (1825-92). Compare aggressive mimicry Müllerian mimicry.
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