BIOL 1902 Lecture Notes - Sphingidae, Automeris Io, Swallowtail Butterfly

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29 Mar 2012
When camouflage and cryptic behaviour fails, some animals have a second defence or
“Plan B”:
Startle Patterns: Bright colours and patterns that when exposed startle the predator giving
time for the animal to escape.
Examples: Bright yellow on inside of legs of Gray Tree Frog
Bright hind wings of Band-winged Grasshoppers
Bright hind wings of Underwing Moths
Eye-spots on Sphinx Moth hind wings
Huge eye-spots on Io Moth and Polyphemus Moth hind wings
Startle Sounds: Beaver tail slap
Distraction Patterns: Patterns that serve to distract or deflect a predator’s attention to a
non-vital body part. These are often but not
always startle patterns also.
Deflection Patterns: another name for Distraction Patterns that also serve this function.
Some small butterflies have eye-spots and fake antennae on hind wings that serve as
Distraction or Deflection Patterns
Examples: Hairstreak Butterflies, also Swallowtail Butterflies; Five-lined Skink blue tail
serves as to Distract and Deflect
Permanent eyespots (never hidden) can be used to fool a predator into thinking the
animal is bigger than it really is.
Example: Eyed Elater (beetle), Tiger Swallowtail caterpillar
Disguise through Behaviour: some animals add bits of environment to body to disguise:
Masquerade artists: Examples: Leaf Rollers, Caddisfly larvae, Sumac Gall Aphids
PHYSICAL DEFENCE can involve hard physical structures that are
part of the animal’s body:
Hard exoskeleton: Examples: many beetles, millipedes
Shells formed from internal skeleton: Examples: Turtles: Blanding’s Turtle can partially
close its shell,
Hard shells formed from Calcium: Examples: Snails, Clams
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