O8. Insects World : Camouflage And Mimicry

Insects use certain defence strategies, such as camouflage and mimicry, to protect themselves from predators. Killer insects sometimes use the same strategies to catch their prey.

Certain insects cleverly hide themselves by blending in with their surroundings. This is known as camouflage.

Some harmless insects mimic (imitate) harmful insects in appearance and behaviour. This fools predators into leaving them alone.

Hoverflies have yellow-and-black stripes on their bodies, which makes them resemble stinging insects called wasps or hornets. Predators avoid the harmless hoverflies, assuming them to be wasps or hornets.

The larvae of some butterflies resemble bird droppings, or even soil.

Stick insects and praying mantids appear to be the twigs and leaves of plants. Predators often miss out on a possible meal because these insects blend into their environment very well. Even the pupae of some butterflies look like twigs.

Monarch butterflies are bitter-tasting and poisonous, so birds do not eat them. Viceroy butterflies have orange and black wings similar to those of monarch butterflies. Birds avoid viceroy butterflies because they think that they are poisonous as well.

Some moths imitate dangerous wasps and bees in behaviour and sound. Their buzz startles predators, which leave them alone.

Adults and caterpillars of some moths and butterflies have large eyelike spots to scare away predatory birds

The hornet moth has transparent wings and a yellow-and-black striped body,making it look like a large wasp called a hornet. It even behaves like a hornet when it flies. Predators, such as birds, avoid hornet moths because they look as if they might sting.

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