Mimicry in the ultraviolet: A predator perspective

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Peet-Pare, Casey Anne




The ubiquity of ultraviolet (UV) vision in animals means UV colour is as important to consider as visible colours when studying animal colouration. I first undertook a survey of recent animal behaviour research and determined that many studies still fail to account for UV vision and colour. Next I measured the visible and UV colour of hoverflies (Diptera: Syrphidae) months and decades since pinning to determine whether colour changed over time. I found no significant change in colour, supporting the use of preserved insects in colour research. Lastly, I tested whether hoverfly mimics resemble their hymenopteran models in the UV by scoring the strength of their UV reflection in photographs and obtaining spectral curves of hoverfly colours. I determined that there is a significant relationship between mimic and model thorax and abdomen UV colour and that mimics are significantly more similar to their potential hymenopteran models than to non-models in the UV.






Carleton University

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