Definition of Batesian mimicry in English:

Batesian mimicry


  • [mass noun] Mimicry in which an edible animal is protected by its resemblance to one avoided by predators.

    Compare with Müllerian mimicry
    • ‘Batesian mimicry is particularly common among insects.’
    • ‘Take the oft-cited classic case of Batesian mimicry involving the dead-ringer resemblance between monarch and viceroy butterflies.’
    • ‘My starting point is the signal detection model first proposed by Staddon and Gendron to identify optimal predatory strategies when dealing with cryptic prey, which was modified by Greenwood to apply to Batesian mimicry.’
    • ‘Although widely accepted and taught as early as elementary school, Batesian mimicry has remained unconfirmed.’
    • ‘The finding may make scientists rethink the laws of Batesian mimicry, as the copycat safety strategy is known.’


Late 19th century: named after Henry W. Bates (1825–92), the English naturalist who first described it.


Batesian mimicry