Butterflies can also deter the enemy with their flight pattern

Butterflies can also deter the enemy with their flight pattern

Photo: Tethorea harmonia, one of the butterfly species studied. credit: Jeff in French

American researchers flight pattern of 351 distinctive butterflies. These are butterflies that let their enemies know they are poisonous or dangerous by the bright colors and busy patterns on their wings. Different species can imitate each other's color pattern to deter the same enemy. By comparing these patterns, scientists were able to classify more than thirty species studied from Peru, Ecuador and Panama into ten groups with a similar appearance.

The scientists shot video footage of 351 different butterflies and analyzed the slow-motion videos. They studied the “flapping frequency” at which butterflies move their wings up and down and the wing angle at the highest and lowest points in flight. The researchers saw that butterflies with a similar color pattern on the wings also had a similar flapping frequency. Furthermore, the wing angle at the highest point in the air travel was also comparable. Butterflies that look similar also fly in a similar way. Interestingly, these butterflies can be found in very different areas, and the environment in which the butterflies live is less specific to their flight pattern. The researchers concluded that not only certain colors, but also a recognizable flight pattern deter specific enemies.

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