Sunday, August 7, 2011

Eastern Amberwing

During a dragonfly expedition on Thursday to Circle Lake in Rice County, I happened upon several Eastern Amberwings.  The amberwings defended small territories around sticks protruding from the lake. I took this photo as I leaned over the rail of a lakeside dock.

A couple of days ago I blogged about how Viceroy Butterflies are examples of Müllerian Mimics. If entomologists are correct that the amberwing mimics wasps, then this dragonfly is certainly an example of Batesian Mimicry, where harmless creatures resemble poisonous ones.  The amberwing acts like a wasp, bobbing its abdomen up and down while waving its wings.  The goal is to dissuade potential predators who have had unfortunate encounters with wasps.

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