The Discoverers of Mimicry
The two main types of mimicry, Batesian and Müllerian,
are named after the scientists who first suggested them:
henry Bates and Fritz Müller.
Henry Bates was an english naturalist who lived from
1825 to 1892. in 1848, he traveled to south America to
study insects. Bates spent 11 years in the Amazon rainforest.
he collected thousands of insects, about half of which
had never been seen by scientists before.
During his stay, Bates noticed that some species of
nonpoisonous butterflies looked very much like the brightly
colored, poisonous butterflies in the same area. he realized
that the edible butterflies were mimicking the poisonous
ones. Bates wrote about his discoveries in 1862.
His work inspired other researchers. one of them was
Fritz Müller, a german scientist. müller followed up on a
puzzle that Bates had noticed in Brazil. Bates had seen
poisonous butterflies that belonged to different species,
but resembled one another. Müller published a paper in
18 8 explaining that by looking alike, both species shared
the burden of teaching predators to leave them alone. the
evolution of similar appearances benefits both species because
each one loses fewer individuals than it would if
it had to deal with predators on its own. that evolution
would happen because butterflies with lookalike colors
and patterns would have a better chance of survival and
would produce more young than butterflies that didn’t.