Moving like a model: mimicry of hymenopteran flight trajectories by clearwing moths of Southeast Asian rainforests

Marta A. Skowron Volponi*, Donald James McLean, Paolo Volponi, Robert Dudley

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    17 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Clearwing moths are known for their physical resemblance to hymenopterans, but the extent of their behavioural mimicry is unknown. We describe zigzag flights of sesiid bee mimics that are nearly indistinguishable from those of sympatric bees, whereas sesiid wasp mimics display faster, straighter flights more akin to those of wasps. In particular, the flight of the sesiids Heterosphecia pahangensis, Aschistophleps argentifasciata and Pyrophleps cruentata resembles both Tetragonilla collina and T. atripes stingless bees and, to a lesser extent, dwarf honeybees Apis andreniformis, whereas the sesiid Pyrophleps sp. resembles Tachysphex sp. wasps. These findings represent the first experimental evidence for behavioural mimicry in clearwing moths.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number20180152
    Pages (from-to)1-6
    Number of pages6
    JournalBiology Letters
    Volume14
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2018

    Keywords

    • Batesian mimicry
    • locomotor mimicry
    • Sesiidae

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