Bastesian Mimicry is when a non-venomous species looks like a venomous species, such as in the venomous Coral snake (Micrurus fulvius fulvius) and the non-venomous Scarlet King snake (Lampropeltis triangulum elapsoides). Both snakes share the same colors and banding patterns, except the King Snake’s colors are placed in a different pattern. Predators who have tried to eat the Coral snake and have gotten bit have learned that the banding pattern is bad, this saves the King snake from being a prey item from those predators because it looks so much like the Coral snake. There have been studies on how this works both in and out of the natural habitats of both snakes. In these studies they used plastic or clay snakes that looked like two snakes mentioned above as well as other banded snakes. It was found that the predators were more likely to avoid all the snakes that looked similar to the Coral snake and avoided the ones that looked just like the Corals. The predators did however attack the ones that did not resemble the venomous Coral snake at all, at a much higher percentage.
This shows that animals that mimic toxic or unpalatable species tend to have less predation than those that do not.
3 thoughts on “Batesian Mimicry”
I feel like this is kind of a genius tactic. What other species use it?
Mimicry is most definitely a genetic trait, and one that has arisen multiple times, making it an unusual example of convergent evolution.
I think this is an interesting topic. I love to see how different animals try and prevent themselves from ending up as the prey in their habitat.