Müllerian mimicry

noun
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. BellamyAn Inordinate Fondness of Beetles2000

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Origin and Etymology of müllerian mimicry

müllerian from Fritz Müller + English -an


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