Definition of Müllerian mimicry in English:

Müllerian mimicry


  • [mass noun] A form of mimicry in which two or more harmful or unpalatable animals develop similar appearances as a shared protective device.

    • ‘These sister species are sympatric across much of Central and Andean South America below 1500 m; both are unpalatable and warningly colored, and their speciation has been accompanied by a shift in Müllerian mimicry.’
    • ‘This is largely due to their bright wing-color patterns and Müllerian mimicry among species.’
    • ‘To measure natural selection generated by Müllerian mimicry, I exploited the unusual polymorphism of Heliconius cydno (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae).’
    • ‘I might add that in Mullerian mimicry, often there are entire groups of species from many families and genera that are all individually unpalatable for some reason, and have all converged on the same appearance.’


Late 19th century: named after Johann F. T. Müller (1821–97), German zoologist.


Müllerian mimicry