Deimatic displays

  title={Deimatic displays},
  author={Kate D. L. Umbers and Jussi Lehtonen and Johanna Mappes},
  journal={Current Biology},

Figures from this paper

Deimatism: a neglected component of antipredator defence
The differences among deimatism, aposematism, and forms of mimicry, and their ecological and evolutionary implications are discussed, and outstanding questions critical to progress are highlighted.
Testing the feasibility of the startle-first route to deimatism
An experimental system in which naïve domestic chicks forage for artificial deimatic prey is used to test the feasibility of ‘the startle-first hypothesis’ of the evolution of deimatism, and shows that both predictions hold, but only when the movement is fast.
Towards a tractable working hypothesis for deimatic displays
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It is shown that the rear of their tongue is UV-blue and more conspicuous to predators compared to the tip and that this ‘full-tongue display’ is only triggered in the final stages of a predatory attack.
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It is found that startle displays and morphological traits were phylogenetically conserved, whereas behavioural traits were highly labile, and Surprisingly, body size was not correlated with display presence or complexity in phylogenetically controlled analyses.
Prey with hidden colour defences benefit from their similarity to aposematic signals
It is found that the survival benefits of both deimatic and flash displays were substantially higher against predators that had previously learned to associate the hidden colours with unprofitability than against naive predators.
Dynamic Skin Patterns in Cephalopods
This study examines the nature, context, and potential functions of dynamic patterns across diverse cephalopod taxa and presents examples of simple flashing or flickering patterns, to highly complex passing wave patterns involving multiple skin fields.
Conspicuous colours reduce predation rates in fossorial uropeltid snakes
Support is provided for the hypothesis that the conspicuous colours of these snakes reduce predation, possibly because these colours advertise unprofitability due to long handling times.
Evolution of macroglands and defensive mechanisms in Leiuperinae (Anura: Leptodactylidae)
A histological analysis of dorsal and lumbar skin and revised the colour patterns, defensive behaviours and glandular secretions to study the diversity and evolution of anti-predator mechanisms associated with macroglands provide phylogenetic evidence for the startle-first hypothesis.


The deimatic reaction in the praying mantis Stagmatoptera biocellata
  • H. Maldonado
  • Biology
    Zeitschrift für vergleichende Physiologie
  • 2004
It is concluded that the over-all effect of the display is to frighten the foe, and that the movements involved in the display are not coordinated with each other in a closed-circuit system.
Deimatic Display in the European Swallowtail Butterfly as a Secondary Defence against Attacks from Great Tits
It is concluded that the swallowtail’s startle display of conspicuous coloration and jerky movements is an efficient secondary defence against small passerines.
Selective signalling by cuttlefish to predators
The role of eyespots as anti‐predator mechanisms, principally demonstrated in the Lepidoptera
  • M. Stevens
  • Environmental Science
    Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
  • 2005
The role of eyespots as antipredator mechanisms has been discussed since the 19th Century and the necessity to consider the potential influence of sexual selection on lepidopteran wing patterns, and the genetics and development of eyespot formation is highlighted.
  • E-mail:
Interactions between predators and prey
  • Interactions between predators and prey
  • 1991
Am. Nat
  • Am. Nat