One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Designating a proposed form of mimicry in which the model is a distasteful or moderately noxious animal and its mimic is a lethal or highly noxious one.
1960s; earliest use found in Robert D. Martin (b. 1942). From the name of Robert Mertens, German zoologist, who described such a pattern of mimicry in 1966 + -ian.
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