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Müllerian mimicry

[myoo-leer-ee-uh n, muh-, mi-] /myuˈlɪər i ən, mʌ-, mɪ-/
noun, Ecology
1.
the resemblance in appearance of two or more unpalatable species, which are avoided by predators to a greater degree than any one of the species would be otherwise.
Also, Mullerian mimicry.
Compare Batesian mimicry.
Origin
after German-born Brazilian biologist Fritz Müller (1821-97), who described it in 1878; see -ian
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for Müllerian mimicry

Müllerian mimicry

/muːˈlɪərɪən/
noun
1.
(zoology) mimicry in which two or more harmful or inedible species resemble each other, so that predators tend to avoid them
Word Origin
C19: named after J.F.T. Müller (1821–97), German zoologist who first described it
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Müllerian mimicry in Science
Müllerian mimicry
  (my-lîr'ē-ən, mə-)   
A form of protective mimicry in which two or more poisonous or unpalatable species closely resemble each other and are therefore avoided equally by all their natural predators. The similarity in coloration between the monarch and viceroy butterflies, once considered an example of Batesian mimicry, is now generally considered as Müllerian mimicry because the viceroy is thought to be as bad-tasting to birds as the monarch. Müllerian mimicry is named after the German-born Brazilian zoologist Fritz Müller (1821-97). Compare aggressive mimicry, Batesian mimicry.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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