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<em>Lymantria&nbsp;</em>species make ultrasonic, mechanical rasping noises when they hear bats nearby.
Many Moths Speak Up to Ward Off Bats
A decade-long, multicontinent study suggests that acoustic defense strategies are more common among moths than previously imagined.
Many Moths Speak Up to Ward Off Bats
Many Moths Speak Up to Ward Off Bats

A decade-long, multicontinent study suggests that acoustic defense strategies are more common among moths than previously imagined.

A decade-long, multicontinent study suggests that acoustic defense strategies are more common among moths than previously imagined.

mimicry
A lobed leaf next to a rounded leaf, both from the same Boquila trifoliolata vine
Can Plants See? In the Wake of a Controversial Study, the Answer’s Still Unclear
Christie Wilcox, PhD | Nov 30, 2022 | 10+ min read
A tiny pilot study found that so-called chameleon vines mimicked plastic leaves, but experts say poor study design and conflicts of interest undermine the report.
Bat perching upside down in a cave.
Some Bats Buzz Like Hornets to Deter Predators
Natalia Mesa, PhD | May 9, 2022 | 2 min read
The behavior is the first example of a mammal mimicking a more-dangerous species.
Genomics Reveals How Humans Can Inadvertently Drive Plant Mimicry
Shawna Williams | Mar 1, 2020 | 4 min read
Hand weeding of fields spurred an interloper to evolve a rice-like appearance, researchers conclude.
Heliconius erato demophoon butterfly mullerian mimicry wnta
Gene Regulation Gives Butterflies Their Stunning Looks
Katarina Zimmer | Nov 14, 2019 | 5 min read
Distantly related, lookalike Heliconius species arrive at the same appearance using the same few genes, but regulated differently, according to recent studies.
Co-mimic pairs from the species Heliconius erato (odd columns) and Heliconius melpomene (even column) sorted by greatest similarity from top left to bottom right
Image of the Day: ButterflyNet
Nicoletta Lanese | Aug 16, 2019 | 1 min read
Scientists used machine learning to analyze the coevolution of physical traits in butterflies.
microbiome
Do Commensal Microbes Stoke the Fire of Autoimmunity?
Amanda B. Keener | Jun 1, 2019 | 10+ min read
Molecules produced by resident bacteria and their hosts may signal immune cells to attack the body’s own tissues.
Commensal Mimicry in Autoimmune Disease
Infographic: Commensal Mimicry in Autoimmune Disease
Amanda B. Keener | Jun 1, 2019 | 1 min read
Antigens originating from the microbiome may trigger an autoimmune response.
Image of the Day: Ant Imposters
Carolyn Wilke | Mar 20, 2019 | 1 min read
Over the course of their lives, the jumping spider Synemosyna formica wears two different ant disguises to fool preying birds.
Image of the Day: Moth Resurrection
The Scientist Staff and The Scientist Staff | Dec 18, 2017 | 1 min read
Entomologists have rediscovered a species of moth that was considered lost for 130 years. 
Image of the Day: Not a Leaf
The Scientist Staff | Jul 26, 2017 | 1 min read
With brown splotches artfully strewn against its bright yellow coloring, the striking imperial moth (Eacles imperialis) appears more leaf than Lepidoptera.
To Attract Pollinators, Flower Mimics Wounded Bee
Ben Andrew Henry | Oct 7, 2016 | 2 min read
Umbrella flowers lure in flies by mimicking the alarm signals produced by the flies’ preferred prey.
Capsule Reviews
Bob Grant | May 1, 2016 | 4 min read
Sorting the Beef from the Bull, Cheats and Deceits, A Sea of Glass, and Following the Wild Bees
Snake Imitators Persist
Rina Shaikh-Lesko | Jun 12, 2014 | 2 min read
A harmless snake in the Carolina Sandhills has been mimicking a poisonous species for decades, and has become a better imitator since the latter went extinct.
Supergene Discovered in Lookalike Butterflies
Ed Yong | Mar 5, 2014 | 3 min read
A butterfly’s varied disguises are controlled by variants of a single gene, partially confirming—and refuting—a decades-old hypothesis.
Flu Fights Dirty
Hayley Dunning | Sep 1, 2012 | 2 min read
Mimicking a host-cell histone protein offers flu a sneaky tactic to suppress immune response.
Genome Digest
Cristina Luiggi | May 22, 2012 | 3 min read
What researchers are learning as they sequence, map, and decode species’ genomes
Behavior Brief
Hannah Waters | Jan 31, 2012 | 4 min read
A roundup of recent studies in behavior research
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