The role of eyespots as anti‐predator mechanisms, principally demonstrated in the Lepidoptera

@article{Stevens2005TheRO,
  title={The role of eyespots as anti‐predator mechanisms, principally demonstrated in the Lepidoptera},
  author={Martin Stevens},
  journal={Biological Reviews},
  year={2005},
  volume={80}
}
  • M. Stevens
  • Published 2005
  • Biology, Medicine
  • Biological Reviews
Eyespots are found in a variety of animals, in particular lepidopterans. The role of eyespots as antipredator mechanisms has been discussed since the 19th Century, with two main hypotheses invoked to explain their occurrence. The first is that large, centrally located eyespots intimidate predators by resembling the eyes of the predators’ own enemies; the second, though not necessarily conflicting, hypothesis is that small, peripherally located eyespots function as markers to deflect the attacks… Expand
Field experiments on the effectiveness of ‘eyespots’ as predator deterrents
TLDR
It is concluded that ‘eyespots’ can be effective predator deterrents without mimicking eyes, and there is limited support for the eye-mimicry hypothesis. Expand
Number of eyespots and their intimidating effect on naive predators in the peacock butterfly
TLDR
It is unlikely that conspicuousness as such has selected for eyespots in the peacock butterfly, and it is suggested that it is simply the conspicuousness of eyespot patterns that is intimidating, possibly due to a sensory bias. Expand
Do animal eyespots really mimic eyes
TLDR
Although eye mimicry is plausible, there remains a lack of evidence to support it and most observations are at least equally consistent with alternative mechanisms, which means the debate can be resolved. Expand
Body size affects the evolution of eyespots in caterpillars
TLDR
The distribution of eyespots in nature likely results from selection against eye-like markings in small caterpillars and selection foreyespots in large caterpillar species (at least in some microhabitats), and this relationship could arise because large prey are innately conspicuous and face stronger selection to evolve such defenses. Expand
Anti-predator adaptations and strategies in the Lepidoptera
TLDR
This thesis examines visual anti-predator strategies employed by the Lepidoptera and investigates a factor often over looked in the study of crypsis, that of the behavioural adaptations that can enhance its efficiency. Expand
The evolutionary significance of butterfly eyespots
TLDR
Recent work has shown that eyespots can indeed deflect attacks toward themselves under specific conditions, and data show that dorsal eyespots are used by males and females as signals during courtship, and how the diversity in ventral eyespot patterning has evolved remains a mystery. Expand
The anti-predator function of ‘eyespots’ on camouflaged and conspicuous prey
TLDR
It is found that the protective value of conspicuous wing spots, placed on artificial moth-like targets presented to wild birds in the field, is strongly affected by the attributes of the prey ‘animal’ on which they are found, and that protective signals can switch from being beneficial to costly under different contexts. Expand
Fixed eyespot display in a butterfly thwarts attacking birds
TLDR
The hypothesis that naturally occuring butterfly eyespots can increase survival even when they are constantly displayed and motionless is supported. Expand
Eyespot display in the peacock butterfly triggers antipredator behaviors in naïve adult fowl
TLDR
The results show that birds typically fled when peacock butterflies performed their display regardless of whether eyespots were visible or painted over, and suggest that predators perceive large lepidopteran eyespots as belonging to the eyes of a potential predator. Expand
Artificial eyespots on cattle reduce predation by large carnivores
TLDR
It is shown that eyespots painted on cattle rumps were associated with reduced attacks by ambush carnivores (lions and leopards) and this is the first time eyespots have been shown to deter large mammalian predators. Expand
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References

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The Function of Eyespot Patterns in the Lepidoptera
TLDR
It has been shown that many small passerines possess inborn responses to their predators, and it is probable that these are "parasitised" by the eyespot patterns of insects. Expand
Eye camouflage and false eyespots: chaetodontid responses to predators
SynopsisThe roles of eye camouflage and eyespots are examined within the genusChaetodon as are the various theories explaining the evolutionary significance of the brilliant colors. While eyeExpand
Significance of butterfly eyespots as an anti-predator device in ground-based and aerial attacks
TLDR
This study provides no support that marginal eyespot patterns can act as an effective deflection mechanism to avoid lizard or avian predation. Expand
Does predation maintain eyespot plasticity in Bicyclus anynana?
TLDR
The results show that natural selection acts against eyespots in the dry season, favouring crypsis, whereas in the wet season it may favour eyespots as deflective patterns. Expand
Pattern formation on lepidopteran wings: determination of an eyespot.
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  • Biology, Medicine
  • Developmental biology
  • 1980
TLDR
Experimental evidence for the existence of a focus that determines the large eyespot on the forewing of the Buckeye butterfly is provided and it is shown that a focus is a physiological entity. Expand
BUTTERFLY EYESPOTS: THE GENETICS AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE COLOR RINGS
The butterfly Bicyclus anynana has a series of distal eyespots on its wings. Each eyespot is composed of a white pupil, a black disc, and a gold outer ring. We applied artificial selection to theExpand
The Lycaenid "false head" hypothesis: historical review and quantitative analysis [Lepidoptera]
TLDR
This paper reviews components of wing pattern and behavior which contribute to the appearance of a head, quantify two of these behaviors in the Neotropical "false head" lycaenid, Arawacus aetolus, and suggests that one behavior•landing head downwards•does not enhance the deceptiveness of a " false head". Expand
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TLDR
It is shown that ectopic eyespots can be induced in nonfocal positions throughout the distal, but not the proximal, wing epidermis of Bicyclus anynana by mild epidermal damage inflicted at 12-18 hr (into a 6- to 7-day pupal period). Expand
Does bird predation influence the spot‐number variation in Maniola jurtina (Lepidoptera)?
TLDR
For six years samples of the satyrine butterfly Maniolajurtina L. jurtina were collected on small islands in southern Sweden and scored for beak marks and it was suggested that birds act as a selective factor influencing the spot-number variation. Expand
The generation and diversification of butterfly eyespot color patterns
TLDR
The results suggest that signaling from the focus induces nested rings of regulatory gene expression that subsequently control the final color pattern of the eyespot, and the remarkably plastic regulatory interactions downstream of focal signaling have facilitated the evolution of eyespot diversity. Expand
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