Red-spotted purple butterfly

Red-spotted purple butterfly

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Credit: SALLY MCCRAE KUYPER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Red-spotted purple butterfly (Basilarchia astyanax). This butterfly is native to eastern North America. Its colours mimic those of the unrelated pipevine swallowtail butterfly (Battus philenor). Although the red-spotted purple is not toxic, its resemblance to the poisonous and distasteful swallowtail protects it from predators. This type of mimicry, where one species derives protection from resembling another, even though it lacks the beneficial attributes of its model, is called Batesian mimicry.

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Keywords: animal, basilarchia astyanax, batesian mimicry, biological, biology, butterfly, entomology, fauna, insect, invertebrate, invertebrates, mimic, nature, non-toxic, north american, one, red-spotted purple, single, wildlife, zoological, zoology

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