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larose forest photos | profile | all galleries >> INSECTS (INSECTA) (28 Galleries) >> Mimics in the Insect World tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Mimics in the Insect World

Many insects mimic other insects. There are many good reasons for so doing but two popular theories are that in some cases it helps them to ward off potential predators and in other cases it can fool potential prey that they are harmless (when they are not!).

Many insects, as you will see in this gallery, mimic wasps and bees. And so clever are they at doing this that it is often next to impossible to differentiate between a fly and bee, or a moth and a wasp, for example! Then there is the Viceroy butterfly that mimics the Monarch. And caterpillars that mimic bird droppings. And so on! A fascinating world of mimicry still not entirely explored or understood!

Guess which one is the real wasp!
Guess which one is the real wasp!
Giant swallowtail caterpillar and....
Giant swallowtail caterpillar and....
Hover fly (Temnostoma alternans)
Hover fly (Temnostoma alternans)
Hover fly (Merodon equestris)
Hover fly (Merodon equestris)
Hover fly
Hover fly
Hover fly and honey bee on dandelion
Hover fly and honey bee on dandelion
Hummingbird clearwing moth (Hemaris thysbe),#7853
Hummingbird clearwing moth (Hemaris thysbe),#7853
Snowberry clearwing moth (Hemaris diffinis), #7855
Snowberry clearwing moth (Hemaris diffinis), #7855
Hummingbird moth (Hemaris thysbe), #7853
Hummingbird moth (Hemaris thysbe), #7853
Raspberry crown borer moth  (Pennisetia marginata) #2513, a wasp mimic
Raspberry crown borer moth (Pennisetia marginata) #2513, a wasp mimic
Raspberry crown borer moth  (Pennisetia marginata) #2513, a wasp mimic
Raspberry crown borer moth (Pennisetia marginata) #2513, a wasp mimic
Peach tree borer moth, female (Synanthedon exitiosa) #2583
Peach tree borer moth, female (Synanthedon exitiosa) #2583
Virginia creeper clearwing moth (Albuna fraxini) #2532, a wasp mimic
Virginia creeper clearwing moth (Albuna fraxini) #2532, a wasp mimic
Brown mantisfly (Climaciella brunnea) , a mimic of vespid wasps
Brown mantisfly (Climaciella brunnea) , a mimic of vespid wasps
Brown mantidfly (Climaciella brunnea), a mimic of vespid wasps
Brown mantidfly (Climaciella brunnea), a mimic of vespid wasps
Robber fly  (Laphria sacrator), a bumblebee mimic
Robber fly (Laphria sacrator), a bumblebee mimic
Robber fly(Laphria sacrator), a bumblebee mimic
Robber fly(Laphria sacrator), a bumblebee mimic
Robber fly (Laphria sacrator), a bumblebee mimic
Robber fly (Laphria sacrator), a bumblebee mimic
Robber fly (Laphria sp. ), a bumblebee mimic
Robber fly (Laphria sp. ), a bumblebee mimic
Robber fly (Laphria sericea) with beetle. Another bee mimic
Robber fly (Laphria sericea) with beetle. Another bee mimic
Robber fly (Laphria)  with prey. This is another bumblebee mimic
Robber fly (Laphria) with prey. This is another bumblebee mimic
Robber fly (Laphria sp.) a bumble bee mimic
Robber fly (Laphria sp.) a bumble bee mimic
Robber fly (Laphria sp.) a bumblebee mimic
Robber fly (Laphria sp.) a bumblebee mimic
Robber fly (Laphria)  with prey.
Robber fly (Laphria) with prey.
Side view of robber fly (Laphria) with prey, looking more bumblebee like!
Side view of robber fly (Laphria) with prey, looking more bumblebee like!
Bee fly (Sparnopolius confusus)
Bee fly (Sparnopolius confusus)
Greater bee fly (Bombylius major), a bee mimic
Greater bee fly (Bombylius major), a bee mimic
Bee fly (Villa)
Bee fly (Villa)
Bee fly (Villa sp), a bee mimic
Bee fly (Villa sp), a bee mimic
Bee fly (Villa cf. alternata), a bee mimic
Bee fly (Villa cf. alternata), a bee mimic
Bee flies (Systropus macer), mimic of Ichnemonid wasps
Bee flies (Systropus macer), mimic of Ichnemonid wasps
Tachinid fly (Cylindromyia interrupta), a wasp mimic
Tachinid fly (Cylindromyia interrupta), a wasp mimic
Tachinid fly (Cylindromyia interrupta) a wasp mimic
Tachinid fly (Cylindromyia interrupta) a wasp mimic
Thick-headed fly  (Physocephala sp.), a wasp mimic
Thick-headed fly (Physocephala sp.), a wasp mimic
Thick headed fly (Physocephala furcillata)
Thick headed fly (Physocephala furcillata)
Thick-headed fly (Physocephala sp. )
Thick-headed fly (Physocephala sp. )
Scorpion fly (Panorpa sp.), male,  a scorpion mimic
Scorpion fly (Panorpa sp.), male, a scorpion mimic
Hover fly (Ocyptamus fascipennis), a mimic of Ichneumonid wasps
Hover fly (Ocyptamus fascipennis), a mimic of Ichneumonid wasps
Hover fly (Ocyptamus fascipennis), a mimic of Ichneumonid wasps
Hover fly (Ocyptamus fascipennis), a mimic of Ichneumonid wasps
Hover fly (Chalcosyrphus curvaria), a wasp mimic
Hover fly (Chalcosyrphus curvaria), a wasp mimic
Hover fly (Eristalis  sp.) , a bee mimic
Hover fly (Eristalis sp.) , a bee mimic
Hover fly (Eristalis dimidiata)
Hover fly (Eristalis dimidiata)
Hover fly, prob.  (Eristalis arbustorum), a bee mimic
Hover fly, prob. (Eristalis arbustorum), a bee mimic
Hover fly (Eristalis tenax)  bee mimic
Hover fly (Eristalis tenax) bee mimic
One is a bumblebee and one is a fly!
One is a bumblebee and one is a fly!
Hover fly (Volucella sp.)
Hover fly (Volucella sp.)
Hover fly (Volucella sp.)
Hover fly (Volucella sp.)
Hover fly, bumblebee mimic, possibly Criorhina sp.
Hover fly, bumblebee mimic, possibly Criorhina sp.
Hover fly (Spilomyia longicornis), a mimic of yellowjackets
Hover fly (Spilomyia longicornis), a mimic of yellowjackets
Hover fly (Spilomyia longicornis), a mimic of yellowjackets
Hover fly (Spilomyia longicornis), a mimic of yellowjackets
Hover fly (Spilomyia sayi), a vespid mimic
Hover fly (Spilomyia sayi), a vespid mimic
Hover fly (Spilomyia sayi), a vespid mimic
Hover fly (Spilomyia sayi), a vespid mimic
Hover fly (Spilomyia sayi), a vespid mimic
Hover fly (Spilomyia sayi), a vespid mimic
Hover fly (spilomyia sayi), vespid mimics
Hover fly (spilomyia sayi), vespid mimics
Spilomyia sayi, vespid mimic
Spilomyia sayi, vespid mimic
Hover fly (Spilomyia fusca), a Bald-faced hornet mimic
Hover fly (Spilomyia fusca), a Bald-faced hornet mimic
Hover fly (Sericomyia chrysotoxoides), bee mimic
Hover fly (Sericomyia chrysotoxoides), bee mimic
Hover fly (Sericomyia chrysotoxoides), bee mimic
Hover fly (Sericomyia chrysotoxoides), bee mimic
Hover fly (Sericomyia chrysotoxoides), bee mimic
Hover fly (Sericomyia chrysotoxoides), bee mimic
Hover fly (Sericomyia  militaris), wasp mimic
Hover fly (Sericomyia militaris), wasp mimic
Hover fly (Sericomyia militaris) a wasp mimic
Hover fly (Sericomyia militaris) a wasp mimic
Hover fly  (Sericomyia  militaris) wasp mimic
Hover fly (Sericomyia militaris) wasp mimic
Hover flies (Sphecomyia vittata), a wasp mimic
Hover flies (Sphecomyia vittata), a wasp mimic
Hover flies (Sphecomyia vittata), a wasp mimic
Hover flies (Sphecomyia vittata), a wasp mimic
Syrphid fly (Didea fuscipes)
Syrphid fly (Didea fuscipes)
Hover fly (Temnostoma alternans), a vespid wasp mimic
Hover fly (Temnostoma alternans), a vespid wasp mimic
Hover fly (Somula decora), a wasp mimic
Hover fly (Somula decora), a wasp mimic
Viceroy (Limenitis archippus), Monarch mimic
Viceroy (Limenitis archippus), Monarch mimic
Viceroy larva  (Limenitis archippus), mimic of a bird dropping
Viceroy larva (Limenitis archippus), mimic of a bird dropping
Flower scarab beetle (Trichiotinus  affinis) on iris. A bee mimic
Flower scarab beetle (Trichiotinus affinis) on iris. A bee mimic