Comma butterfly, Polygonia, mimics a dead leaf

Comma butterfly, Polygonia, mimics a dead leaf

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This image is part of the feature Mimetism

Credit: CLAUDE NURIDSANY & MARIE PERENNOU/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Butterfly camouflage. The Comma butterfly Polygonia comma album mimicking a dead leaf. At centre is this leaf-brown coloured butterfly on a twig; its outer wing margin is unevenly shaped to look like a leaf. The comma butterfly is so-called for the white C-shaped marking on the underside of its hindwing (seen here). When landing, the insect closes its wings and assumes the correct posture to resemble a dead curled leaf. Its behaviour is to remain still, relying on wing shape and body colour to blend in with its environment. By mimic- king nature, Polygonia comma album gains protection against predators.

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Keywords: animal, butterfly, camouflage, comma butterfly, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, leaf, mimic, mimicry, nature, polygonia, polygonia comma, type, wildlife, zoology

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