Predator mimicry: Metalmark moths mimic their jumping spider predators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Cases of mimicry provide many of the nature's most convincing examples of natural selection. Here we report evidence for a case of predator mimicry in which metalmark moths in the genus Brenthia mimic jumping spiders, one of their predators. In controlled trials, Brenthia had higher survival rates than other similarly sized moths in the presence of jumping spiders and jumping spiders responded to Brenthia with territorial displays, indicating that Brenthia were sometimes mistaken for jumping spiders, and not recognized as prey. Our experimental results and a review of wing patterns of other insects indicate that jumping spider mimicry is more widespread than heretofore appreciated, and that jumping spiders are probably an important selective pressure shaping the evolution of diurnal insects that perch on vegetation.


External organisations
  • University of Connecticut
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Zoology
  • Ecology
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere45
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Dec 20
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes