- the protective resemblance in appearance of a palatable or harmless species, as the viceroy butterfly, to an unpalatable or dangerous species, as the monarch butterfly, that is usually avoided by predators.
Compare Müllerian mimicry.
Origin of Batesian mimicry
after Henry Walter Bates (1825–92), English naturalist, who described such mimicry in 1861; see -ian
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- zoology mimicry in which a harmless species is protected from predators by means of its resemblance to a harmful or inedible species
Word Origin for Batesian mimicry
C19: named after H. W. Bates (1825–92), British naturalist and explorer
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
- A form of protective mimicry in which an unprotected species (the mimic) closely resembles an unpalatable or harmful species (the model), and therefore is similarly avoided by predators. The close resemblance between certain harmless flies and stinging bees, and the similarity between the colored stripes of the nonpoisonous king snake and those of the highly venomous coral snake, are examples of Batesian mimicry. Batesian mimicry is named after the British naturalist Henry Walter Bates (1825-92). Compare aggressive mimicry Müllerian mimicry.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.