Sunday, 10 December 2017

Beetles' bright colors used for camouflage instead of warning off predators


First study to examine beetle colouration in their natural habitat prompts discovery

Date:  December 4, 2017
Source:  Yale-NUS College

Summary:
Biologists have discovered that the bright color patterns of beetles are not a warning signal to predators as previously believed, but actually a form of camouflage, turning an old assumption on its head.

NUS College Postdoctoral Fellow Eunice Tan has discovered that the bright colour patterns of beetles are not a warning signal to predators as previously believed, but actually a form of camouflage, turning an old assumption on its head. Dr Tan, along with four collaborators from Australia and Spain, examined 51 species of Australian leaf beetles in their natural habitats, and discovered that each beetle's colour pattern is similar to the host plants that the beetle lives on, suggesting that those conspicuous colours help the beetle blend in with the plants it inhabits. The study was recently published as an open-access article in the peer-reviewed journal Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution.


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