Forma, Vol. 17 (No. 2), pp. 133-139, 2002
Original Paper

Mimicry in Butterflies: Microscopic Structure

Akira Saito

Department of Precision Science and Technology, Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University, 2-1 Yamadaoka, Suita-shi, Osaka 565-0871, Japan; and RIKEN Harima Institute, 1-1-1 Kouto, Mikazuki-cho, Hyogo 679-5418, Japan
E-mail address:

(Received May 2, 2002; Accepted July 31, 2002)

Keywords: Mimicry, Structural Color, Microscopic Structure

Abstract. In a study of mimicry, microscopic structures of the scale of butterflies were examined by scanning electron microscopy. These structures were compared between 2 species of butterfly, Hypolimnas anomala and Euploea mulciber. It is well known that the female of the former species imitates the male of the latter species by use of structural color. In the present study, it was found that the mimic (female Hypolimnas anomala) imitates the model (male Euploea mulciber) in microscopic structure as well. Furthermore, it was found that the mimic has characteristics of both the male of its own species and the model.

[Full text] (PDF 1.7 MB)