In this picture, a four-eyed butterfly fish uses deceptive markings. The large spot near the tail resembles an eye. When predators attack the wrong end, the butterfly fish can swim away in the other direction!
Some predators also depend on camouflage, but this time it is in order to avoid being seen by their prey.
Here, a frogfish resembles
a sponge. Small fish swimming nearby will be engulfed in the frogfish’s enormous mouth!
In mimicry, an organism (the mimic) closely resembles another organism (the model) in order to deceive a third, (the operator). The model and the mimic are not always closely related, but both usually live in the same area. This is similar to camouflage, but in mimicry the model is generally a similar organism rather than a static part of the background environment.
There are several types of mimicry. The two most common types are Batesian mimicry and
Batesian mimicry occurs when an edible mimic resembles an
unpalatable or poisonous model. In this type of mimicry,
By contrast, Mullerian mimicry occurs when two (or more) distasteful or poisonous organisms resemble each other. Both species benefit because a predator who learns to avoid one species will most likely avoid the other, too.
The two invertebrates on the left are different species
of sea slugs, while the one on the right is a marine
flatworm. All three secrete noxious substances and