Sunday, August 23, 2009

Fireflies


Tricky Insects~
Fireflies Use Aggressive Mimicry

Aggressive mimicry is a phenomenon where one organism (a mimic) tricks another organism (the dupe) into thinking it is another (the model), with the result being a negative outcome for the dupe, as well as the model. In the case of aggressive mimicry in fireflies, mated females that belong to a few species in the genus Photuris mimic the female responses of other fireflies in the same area in order to attract males of the mimicked species. When these males are tricked (or duped) into landing near these mimics to mate, they are pounced upon and eaten (Lloyd 1981)! Recent evidence also suggests that these female mimics are not only acquiring food but also defensive chemicals from their prey, which they themselves do not produce in large quantities (Eisner et al. 1997).





Powered by ScribeFire.

No comments: