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Author Topic:   Mimicry: Please help me understand how
MartinV 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4147 days)
Posts: 502
From: Slovakia, Bratislava
Joined: 08-28-2006


Message 91 of 241 (426186)
10-05-2007 3:42 PM


Wasps and their "mimics"
On my knowledge wasps are readily eaten by birds. But even if we accept darwinian presuppositions that their so called "mimics" are protected by their coloration (like Syrphidae - hoverflies, there are 6.000 species - are they all mimics? All of them?) some resesearchs contaradict to such armchair theories.

quote:

On the other hand, all the syrphids were considered to be palatable, and even the superb wasp mimic Temnostoma vespiforme was eaten by Spotted Flycatchers despite the fact that its model was rejected. Dlusski concluded that these experienced birds usually distinguished between models and mimics, even the good ones, and thus mimicry was ineffective here.

Temnostoma vespiforme :

But again: birds eat wasps readily according many observations and there is no need to see in such similarities darwinian "mimicry".

-----
The evolution of imperfect mimicry in hoverflies by
Francis Gilbert
eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/archive/00000096/01/ImperfectMimicry.pdf


Replies to this message:
 Message 96 by Modulous, posted 10-05-2007 4:35 PM MartinV has responded

  
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16107
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 7.3


Message 92 of 241 (426189)
10-05-2007 3:54 PM
Reply to: Message 87 by MartinV
09-27-2007 1:14 PM


Re: Mimicry
Wasps defend themselves against things other than birds. They do so by, amongst other things stinging. Stinging is a defence mechanism.

Which part of this don't you understand?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 87 by MartinV, posted 09-27-2007 1:14 PM MartinV has responded

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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16107
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 7.3


Message 93 of 241 (426190)
10-05-2007 3:57 PM
Reply to: Message 80 by MartinV
09-26-2007 12:24 AM


Re: Mimicry
"Unpalatability" is a concept conceived in selectionists heads to support their explanation of aposematism. No such phenomenon as unpalatability of wasps or ladybirds exists in reality.

Unfortunately for you, saying this won't make all the evidence to the contrary vanish by magic.


This message is a reply to:
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MartinV 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4147 days)
Posts: 502
From: Slovakia, Bratislava
Joined: 08-28-2006


Message 94 of 241 (426192)
10-05-2007 4:06 PM
Reply to: Message 92 by Dr Adequate
10-05-2007 3:54 PM


Re: Mimicry

Wasps defend themselves against things other than birds. They do so by, amongst other things stinging. Stinging is a defence mechanism.
Which part of this don't you understand?

Facts are different as your presuppositions:

quote:

From these studies it seems clear that although having a dramatic effect when used, birds only rarely get stung by wasps, and therefore the sting cannot be the primary source of wasp noxiousness.
.
.
.
Mostler considered the unpalatability of the abdomen to be the major source of noxiousness for wasps, and the sting was only secondary...

Stings are ineffective, or in darwinian newspeak "only secondary".

Or do you consider daragonflies as selective force? Again:

quote:

However, dragonflies showed no differences between attacks on prey with wasp-like colours and patterns and those on the same-sized prey that were nonmimetic. Moreover, dragonflies avoided attacking both mock-painted and black-painted wasps entirely. Overall, we found no evidence to support the hypothesis that wasp-like warning signals protect small insect prey from attack by dragonflies, although size seems to be an important cue in dragonfly prey choice.

It is size, no darwinian "warning coloration" that deter predators.


This message is a reply to:
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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16107
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 7.3


Message 95 of 241 (426193)
10-05-2007 4:06 PM
Reply to: Message 85 by MartinV
09-26-2007 2:06 PM


Re: Mimicry
Yes, I like these "experiments" done by neodarwinists. These "experiments" always support armchair preconceptions of warning coloration.

The fact that experiments invariably confirm the theory doesn't strike you as proof of the theory?

As for wasps, in reality, they really do sting. They really do. This is kindergarten stuff.

Maybe they sting sometimes children in kindergarten. But it is only armchair preconception that the same occurs in free. I have given you already link to neodarwinian article about mimicry&aposematism. Why didn't you read it and why you continue spread your ignorant ideas instead?

Having seen what you've mistaken for knowledge, I am not surprised that you dismiss the fact that wasps have stings as an "ignorant idea".

Darinists are obviously lost, because stings are inneficient (or "secondary source of noxiousness" in their newspeak). But darwinian fantasy is still efficient:

Was that phrase intended to have content?

Or this one is a perfect experiment, unbelievable!

Are you claiming that the researchers are lying, or what?

I suppose that's one way of dodging the results of every experiment and observation that proves you utterly wrong.


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Modulous
Member (Idle past 422 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 96 of 241 (426197)
10-05-2007 4:35 PM
Reply to: Message 91 by MartinV
10-05-2007 3:42 PM


Re: Wasps and their "mimics"
On the other hand, all the syrphids were considered to be palatable, and even the superb wasp mimic Temnostoma vespiforme was eaten by Spotted Flycatchers despite the fact that its model was rejected. Dlusski concluded that these experienced birds usually distinguished between models and mimics, even the good ones, and thus mimicry was ineffective here.

Indeed, and it goes on to say:

quote:
I can summarise the available data no more clearly than Steiniger (1937b) did many years ago:
• syrphids form part of the normal dipteran diet of many insectivorous birds such as Robins (Erithacus rubecula), Redstarts, and Sylvia and Phylloscopus warblers;
• wasps are not normal food for these birds, which do not have any innate avoidance of wasps, and eventually come to try one; once tried, they are not eaten any more;
• syrphids are also removed from the normal diet of these insectivores as soon as they become acquainted with wasps, since wasps and syrphids are apparently confused.
• The protective effects of this process are related to the similarity between model and mimic, but even poor quality mimics benefit to some degree.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 91 by MartinV, posted 10-05-2007 3:42 PM MartinV has responded

Replies to this message:
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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16107
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 7.3


Message 97 of 241 (426209)
10-05-2007 5:06 PM
Reply to: Message 94 by MartinV
10-05-2007 4:06 PM


Re: Mimicry
Facts are different as your presuppositions.

No they are not. Wasps have stings.

From these studies it seems clear that although having a dramatic effect when used, birds only rarely get stung by wasps, and therefore the sting cannot be the primary source of wasp noxiousness.

As i pointed out in the post that you're attempting to respond to, wasps have other natural enemies besides birds.

Stings are ineffective, or in darwinian newspeak "only secondary".

The word "secondary" does not mean "ineffective", and you are not going to deceive anyone by pretending it does.

It is size, no darwinian "warning coloration" that deter predators.

Not all predators are dragonflies.

Many experiments and observations show that warning coloration deters predators.

Whom do you hope to fool?


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MartinV 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4147 days)
Posts: 502
From: Slovakia, Bratislava
Joined: 08-28-2006


Message 98 of 241 (426279)
10-05-2007 9:54 PM
Reply to: Message 96 by Modulous
10-05-2007 4:35 PM


Re: Wasps and their "mimics"
I don't see what "available data" about syrphids the autor wanted to summarize. Especially when has written:

quote:

The only field-based experiments on the protection afforded to syrphid mimics were done by Dlusski (1984) in a forest close to Moscow.

I am afraid he summarized only preconceptions and not field-based data. Field-based data shows (Csiki, McAtee, see my above posts)clearly that stomachs of many different birds contain wasps.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Vacate
Member (Idle past 2919 days)
Posts: 565
Joined: 10-01-2006


Message 99 of 241 (426324)
10-06-2007 3:58 AM


Octopus
Just for interest I thought I would post this short video. It looks like kelp but runs along the ocean floor.

Walking Octopus


  
Dr Adequate
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Posts: 16107
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 7.3


Message 100 of 241 (426348)
10-06-2007 7:31 AM
Reply to: Message 98 by MartinV
10-05-2007 9:54 PM


Re: Wasps and their "mimics"
I don't see what "available data" about syrphids the autor wanted to summarize.

I believe you'll find that the data he wanted to summarize is the data he did in fact summarize.

I am afraid he summarized only preconceptions and not field-based data.

But we can all read the article and see that you are not telling the truth. He cites field-based data. People can see that you're not telling the truth without even reading the article, since you conveniently quoted one of the instances in which he did so.

I really don't understand whom you hope to fool.

Field-based data shows (Csiki, McAtee, see my above posts)clearly that stomachs of many different birds contain wasps.

Which is true, but does not support your delusions about the value of aposematism and mimicry.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16107
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 7.3


Message 101 of 241 (426352)
10-06-2007 7:45 AM
Reply to: Message 94 by MartinV
10-05-2007 4:06 PM


Re: Mimicry
It is size, no darwinian "warning coloration" that deter predators.

Field-based observations, including inspection of stomach contents, show that predators eat insects of varying sizes --- big ones, small ones, medium ones.

I wonder if you would like to apply your reasoning, and I use the term loosely, to this fact? No? OK.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


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Modulous
Member (Idle past 422 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 102 of 241 (426356)
10-06-2007 8:08 AM
Reply to: Message 98 by MartinV
10-05-2007 9:54 PM


Re: Wasps and their "mimics"
I don't see what "available data" about syrphids the autor wanted to summarize.

As difficult as it sounds, you could try reading the data he author wanted to summarize:

quote:
Apart from Mostler’s and Dlusski’s work, there are really only fragments of information in the literature about the protective effects of syrphid mimicry (see Pocock, 1911; Lane, 1957; Steiniger, 1937a,b; Liepelt, 1963; Davies & Green, 1976; Heal, 1982, 1995; Evans & Waldbauer, 1982; Evans, 1984; Grewcock, 1992). I can summarise the available data no more clearly than Steiniger (1937b) did many years ago

Field-based data shows (Csiki, McAtee, see my above posts)clearly that stomachs of many different birds contain wasps.

Not entirely relevant. Nobody is saying that birds don't eat wasps. What we are saying is that certain types of wasps will be avoided after being eaten by certain types of bird. If I recall correctly I pointed out that some of your references were talking about parasitic wasps. Parasitic wasps don't generally have the warning colouration of their yellow-jacketted cousins.

A Wasp. source Obviously this wasp will not be protected against bird predation based on its colours, so if birds happened to be eating a lot of them, it makes no difference to the concepts of mimicry.

You need to explain all of the data, not just selected snippets. I suspect you cannot. The paper you reference the most is a fascinating look at the subject, have you tried reading the entire thing?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 98 by MartinV, posted 10-05-2007 9:54 PM MartinV has responded

Replies to this message:
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MartinV 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4147 days)
Posts: 502
From: Slovakia, Bratislava
Joined: 08-28-2006


Message 103 of 241 (426426)
10-06-2007 4:14 PM
Reply to: Message 102 by Modulous
10-06-2007 8:08 AM


Re: Wasps and their "mimics"
The paper deals predominatly with hoverflies mimics, Syrphidae. There are 6.000 species in 200 genera in this family. Either all six thousands species mimic wasps or there is a line where some species are mimicking wasps and others are not. Because author obviously considers hoverflies to be mimic he faced contradicting theories of "imperfect" mimicry and utterly hypothetical forces that hinder perfection of "imperfect" mimicry.
The more simple solution would be accept an idea there is no micry of hoverflies at all. The similarity is pure coincidence of coloration of two animals groups.

There are many facts supporting the idea that birds eat wasps readily, so selective force to their mimics is very dubious on my view.

-----------------------

----------------------
Scott, Virgil E., Keith E. Evans, David R. Patton, and Charles P. Stone.
1977. Cavity-nesting birds of North American forests. U.S. Dep. Agric., Agric. Handb. 511, 112 p.

http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/wildlife/nesting_birds/CavityNestingBirds.pdf

Purple martin

Johnston (1967) examined the stomach contents of 34 martins collected in April,
May, June, and August in Kansas. Beetles, true bugs, flies, bees, and wasps were the important food
items.

Pygmy nuthatch

About 80 percent of the diet is animal
material, mostly wasps and spittle insects,
including some ants, beetles, and caterpillars; the
balance is nearly all conifer seeds (Bent 1948).

Mountain bluebird

This is probably the most insectivorous of the bluebirds. Studies indicate that nearly 92 percent
of the diet is animal material, including miscellaneous beetles, weevils, ants, bees, wasps, cicadas,
stinkbugs, negro bugs, assassin bugs, jassids, flies, caterpillars, grasshoppers, locusts, and crickets
(Bent 1949).

Common flicker:

Sixty percent of common flicker food is animal matter. Of this, 75 percent is ants, more than
taken by any other North American bird. Some flicker stomachs have contained over 2,000 ants. The
rest of the insect material includes beetles, wasps, caterpillars, grubs, and crickets.

Chestnut-backed chickadee

Of the animal material, 25 percent is
hemipterans, 18 percent caterpillars, 13
percent wasps, 7 percent spiders, and 2
percent beetles.

Yellow bellied sapsucker:

About 80 percent of the insect food taken consists of ants (McAtee 1911).
Other insects in their diet include beetles and wasps, but none of the woodboring larvae.

Ash-throated flycatcher

The diet of this species consists mainly of
animal material. Beetles, bees, wasps, bugs, flies,
caterpillars, moths, grasshoppers, spiders, etc.,
make up about 92 percent of the diet.

Olivaceous flycatcher

Limited evidence on food habits of this
species indicates that the major food items are
small insects including grasshoppers, termites,
mayflies, treehoppers, miscellaneous bugs,
moths, bees, wasps, and spiders (Bent 1942).

Violet green swallow

Apparently, the diet of this species is exclusively insects taken on the wing. It includes
leafhoppers, leaf bugs, flies, flying ants, and some wasps, bees, and beetles (Bent 1942).

Plain titmouse (especially see seeds of poison oak )

Beal (Bent 1946) examined the contents of
76 stomachs and found 43 percent animal
material (true bugs 12 percent, caterpillars 11
percent, beetles 7 percent, ants and wasps 6
percent, daddy longlegs and grasshoppers 5
percent, spiders 1 percent, and 1 percent unreported) and 57 percent vegetable matter (cherries and
pulp of larger fruit and leaf galls 32 percent, seeds of poison oak and weeds 25 percent).

Crested myna

Scheffer and Cottam (1935) examined the contents of 117 adult myna stomachs and found 39
percent animal and 61 percent vegetable matter. Animal matter included flies, moths and caterpillars,
wasps, bees, ants, bugs, beetles, grasshoppers, spiders, and earthworms.

----------

http://birdcentral.net/naturalhistoryf.htm
western wood pewee

Food: Professor Beal (1912) reports on the contents of 174 stomachs of the western wood pewee, in which 99.93 percent of the food was animal matter and only 0.07 percent vegetable. Beetles of 19 species amount to 5.44 percent, of which only 0.95 percent are useful beetles, ladybird beetles, and predaceous ground beetles. Hymenoptera <http://birdcentral.net/glossary.htm>, wasps, bees, and ants amount to 39.81 percent of the food and were found in 107 stomachs,17 of which contained no other food

----------
birdcentral.net/naturalhistory4.htm

orange-crowned warbler

* * * Hymenoptera <http://birdcentral.net/glossary.htm> amount nearly to 15 percent, and are mostly small wasps, though some ants are eaten.

Townssends Warbler

Hymenoptera <http://birdcentral.net/glossary.htm>, consisting of both wasps and ants, are eaten to the extent of 25 percent of the food.

White-eyed Vireo

ilymenoptera and Diptera together amount to 11.64 percent, including wasps, bees, ichneumons, and flies

*******************************

Birds attack also bird nests

In this note we present the first observations on the predation by the curl-crested jay (Cyanocorax cristatellus) upon the nest of a social wasp (Apoica pallens) in cerrados of Central Brazil.

...Below the shrub we found nest parts scattered on the ground. Neither larvae nor pupae remained in the nest.
The observations we present here are consistent with the suggestion of Henriques et al. (1992) that nests of social wasps are attacked by vertebrates in cerrados. Windsor (1976) also believed that predation by birds on nests of social wasps is more prevalent in savannas. These observations suggest that predation by birds could play an important role in the dynamics of social wasp populations.

http://www.scielo.sa.cr/scielo.php?pid=S0034-77441998000400024&script=sci_arttext

*******************************

The carton nests of the polistine wasps, Polybia occidentalis and P. barbouri, are frequently destroyed by predators feeding on wasp brood in northwestern Costa Rica. The remains of these nests and the signs left by the predators closely matched those observed after several nests were destroyed by the gray-headed kite, Leptodon cayanensis. The frequency of bird predation appeared lowest during the wet season, increased through the dry season, and reached a peak of 50 percent nest destruction in May 1973.

AVIAN PREDATION ON INDIVIDUAL NEOTROPICAL SOCIAL WASPS
(HYMENOPTERA, VESPIDAE) OUTSIDE THEIR NESTS

http://elibrary.unm.edu/sora/ON/v008n01/p0089-p0092.pdf

Edited by MartinV, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 102 by Modulous, posted 10-06-2007 8:08 AM Modulous has responded

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 Message 104 by Modulous, posted 10-07-2007 5:14 AM MartinV has responded

  
Modulous
Member (Idle past 422 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


Message 104 of 241 (426490)
10-07-2007 5:14 AM
Reply to: Message 103 by MartinV
10-06-2007 4:14 PM


Re: Wasps and their "mimics"
The paper deals predominatly with hoverflies mimics, Syrphidae. There are 6.000 species in 200 genera in this family. Either all six thousands species mimic wasps or there is a line where some species are mimicking wasps and others are not. Because author obviously considers hoverflies to be mimic he faced contradicting theories of "imperfect" mimicry and utterly hypothetical forces that hinder perfection of "imperfect" mimicry.
The more simple solution would be accept an idea there is no micry of hoverflies at all. The similarity is pure coincidence of coloration of two animals groups.

I don't see that in the paper. I see the mimicry theory supported by the paper with reference to an unfortunate lack of work on the subject.

There are many facts supporting the idea that birds eat wasps readily, so selective force to their mimics is very dubious on my view.

The question remains, do all birds eat yellow-jacket wasps readily after eating them the first time? The evidence demonstrates that some birds will avoid eating wasps, and their mimics, after eating a wasp. That is the evidence you need to deal with.

Your studies also suffer from the same issue that you have not addressed yet. Not all wasps and bees have distinctive yellow jackets. Your studies do not tell us if the subfamily was mostly vespinae (yellow-jackets) or polistinae (often brown) nor does it do likewise for bees - we cannot rule out Xylocopines. Since the studies you cite do not provide this kind of detail they cannot be used to draw absolute conclusions. Even if we were to draw those conclusions the fact that some birds eat yellow-jackets is not evidence that yellow-jackets do not enjoy some protection from predators.

I suspect you are unable to see this.

Birds attack also bird nests

Hardly relevant, but what you meant to say was they attack wasp and bee nests. Yes, some of them do. I've not disputed this fact, and indeed entered this fact into the debate myself - so I'm unsure what you think your point is. I suspect that you think that because some birds attack some wasps, that is evidence that wasps' visual pattern is not a deterrent. In some cases it isn't, but it doesn't need to be for it to provide a selective advantage.

The carton nests of the polistine wasps, Polybia occidentalis and P. barbouri, are frequently destroyed by predators feeding on wasp brood in northwestern Costa Rica.

As noted, polistinae are not quite as distinctive as yellow jackets. But I have already put forward information regarding the attacking of nests. Some do it for the nest itself, others for the grubs, and some for the wasps themselves.

This is not evidence that yellow-jackets offer some protection, but again you probably don't see that. I seem to remember putting this very paper forward, not very long ago. Here is the section I referred to:

quote:
Possibly the scarcity of attacks is due to the
ability of social wasps to defend themselves so
that relatively few species of birds are able to
ingest them. Similarly there seem to be few avian
attacks on caterpillars of the family Arctiidae
(which includes the Ctenuchinae). Many species
of moths of this family sequester alkaloids from
their host plants which results in the caterpillar
being impalatable to potential predators (Watson
1975). An additional variable to be considered in
gaining an understanding of avian predation on
noxious insects is the ability of individual birds
to learn how to process a prey item prior to
ingestion. Such behaviour results in big differences
in the species of insects taken -even among
individuals of a particular species of bird. Sometimes
a bird learns to recognize particular types
of insects and is able to manipulate the prey so
as to avoid the insect's defense system (Brown &
Vasconcelos 1976). A bird can also learn to recognize
a particular sex of an insect species. For
example, one White- throated Kingbird (Tyrannus
albogularis caught and ate numerous male of
the solitary bee (Epicharis melanoxantha Moure),
but was never seen to capture a female though the
males have a faster, erratic flight (Raw 1992, in
press).

Which would indicate, once again, that some birds find wasps noxious and develop strategies to overcome the wasps' defence. As we have seen, there are several strategies possible here. Avoid wasps and insects that look like wasps. Or, avoid eating the noxious poison sacs of wasps. The former is easier - but the latter is potentially more rewarding.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 103 by MartinV, posted 10-06-2007 4:14 PM MartinV has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 105 by MartinV, posted 10-09-2007 3:28 PM Modulous has responded

  
MartinV 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4147 days)
Posts: 502
From: Slovakia, Bratislava
Joined: 08-28-2006


Message 105 of 241 (427059)
10-09-2007 3:28 PM
Reply to: Message 104 by Modulous
10-07-2007 5:14 AM


Re: Wasps and their "mimics"

Your studies also suffer from the same issue that you have not addressed yet. Not all wasps and bees have distinctive yellow jackets. Your studies do not tell us if the subfamily was mostly vespinae (yellow-jackets) or polistinae (often brown) nor does it do likewise for bees - we cannot rule out Xylocopines.

I base my arguments predominantly on the books of Komarek "Mimcry, aposematism and related phenomena..." - mentioned in the first sentences of the discussed article of hoverflies, and on the facts mentioned by Franz Heikertinger. Heikertinger is also mentioned in the article as "source" but oddly enough no one of his idea has been dealt or mentioned in the article! No wonder, he dismissed the theory of wasps mimicry entirely. His work haven't been translated into English btw.

But to your arguments:

As we can can see there are "paper wasps" in family polistinae and other conspicuous species. But the question is like this - if there are species, that are more cryptic like bees or species in polistinae - why are they not protected by "aposematism"? They do not need it? But vespinae need it?

I am afraid the research done on 80.000 contents of stomach birds showed clearly that wasps are eaten by birds and it were these facts that persuaded McAtee that aposematism of birds is ineffective. I don't see a reason why ornitologist and entomologist McAtee should have omitted the fact of different coloration of wasps. Especially when he adressed the problem of aposematism of wasps. But of course Poulton dismissed his research and made his own that supposedly proved aposematism - but of butterfies. Darwinists do not recognise McAtee research and conclusion as valid.

You didn't answer the question I consider as crucial - do you consider all 6.000 species of hoverflies to be wasps mimic?

Do not forget there are 600 species of moth's family that possess yellow-black striped patterns and we should consider probably also those species as mimics.

There are also dragonflies with black-yellow patterns etc...

Maybe yellow-black patterns are so common in insect realm that we shouldn't consider it as mimicry especially when results of experiments of protective value of "model" are so ambiguous and often contradicting each other.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 104 by Modulous, posted 10-07-2007 5:14 AM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 106 by Modulous, posted 10-09-2007 4:34 PM MartinV has responded

  
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