Some eyespot humor

I found this comic particularly funny because it points to one of the main themes of my PhD:

Eyespots may not be effective predator deterrents.

There is some evidence supporting a protective effect of eyespots in butterflies (defection and intimidation), but until my work last summer there hadn't yet been anything more than anecdotal evidence showing a protective effect in caterpillars. Even my work last summer showed little protective effect of caterpillar eyespots; although there are a variety of interesting reasons why an effect may not have been observed (I'll go through these in detail later).

Aside: Deflection is a strategy where prey somehow direct or draw predator strikes away from vulnerable parts of their body (e.g. their head). Intimidation acts to prevent attacks altogether by making the prey look too dangerous or difficult to subdue.


Post a Comment