or Mul·le·ri·an mimicry
[myoo-leer-ee-uh n, muh-, mi-]
the resemblance in appearance of two or more unpalatable species, which are avoided by predators to a greater degree than any one of the species would be otherwise.
Compare Batesian mimicry.
Origin of Müllerian mimicry
after German-born Brazilian biologist Fritz Müller (1821–97), who described it in 1878; see -ian
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
zoology mimicry in which two or more harmful or inedible species resemble each other, so that predators tend to avoid them
Word Origin for Müllerian mimicry
C19: named after J.F.T. Müller (1821–97), German zoologist who first described it
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 two or more poisonous or unpalatable species closely resemble each other and are therefore avoided equally by all their natural predators. The similarity in coloration between the monarch and viceroy butterflies, once considered an example of Batesian mimicry, is now generally considered as Müllerian mimicry because the viceroy is thought to be as bad-tasting to birds as the monarch. Müllerian mimicry is named after the German-born Brazilian zoologist Fritz Müller (1821-97). Compare aggressive mimicry Batesian mimicry.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.