Müllerian mimicry

variants: or Mullerian mimicry or less commonly Muellerian mimicry

Definition of Müllerian mimicry

: mimicry that exists between two or more inedible or dangerous species (as of butterflies or wasps and bees) and that is considered in evolutionary theory to be a mechanism which reduces loss to predation by simplifying the warning colors and patterns a predator must recognize Mullerian mimicry differs from Batesian mimicry in that all the species in the complex are unpalatable, they cannot be distinguished by predators, and they must be found in the same place at the same time.— Arthur V. Evans and Charles L. Bellamy, An Inordinate Fondness of Beetles, 2000

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First Known Use of Müllerian mimicry

1899, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for Müllerian mimicry

müllerian from Fritz Müller + English -an

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The first known use of Müllerian mimicry was in 1899

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Dictionary Entries Near Müllerian mimicry

Müllerian fiber

Müllerian mimicry


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Cite this Entry

“Müllerian mimicry.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/M%C3%BCllerian%20mimicry. Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.

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