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The Horama species of moths mimic wasps to protect themselves from predators.
Mexico - Central America.
Thanks Jacob... added to the mission!
WOW! Incredible moth, Small Wonders! I especially like the boots. :) Could you add this to my mission, "Moths of the World?'http://www.projectnoah.org/missions/8841...
The smoked black wings are pretty neat.
Thank you Mayra :)
Love those over-sized leg warmers.
True... And yet another possible validation for the leaf-footed mimicry theory, is that both sexes have these brushlike tibiae which is normally found in male species (as you mentioned in your earlier comment)... Even BugGuide cites this specifically in males for Horama panthalon http://bugguide.net/node/view/39023, but this obviously may not be gender specific to Horama.
I am not sure if for example Leptoglossus sp. taste really good for birds. If disturbed they might eject (!) a nasty liquid (OK some talk about pine or apple flavour, others from just horrible smell). So, there might nevertheless some strange intention behind this kind of mimicry...
To answer your earlier question - evidently leaf-footed bugs taste good! They are often eaten by birds, spiders, assassin bugs, and other predators. So a mimic may not be a very good strategy against predation...
I think they might smell quite well, at least the males for the females and the other way round. This brushlike adnexes on the feet are actually so-called androconial organs, like for example the scent scales on butterfly wings. So these organs are respondable for the pheromones in males (I only read of the ones in males). I do not know if this arrangement at the feet and looking like the hindleg tibiaes in the Leaf-footed bugs is really for mimicry against predatory birds. If yes, why a second one with a wasp-like apprearence, which looks not even like similar to any bug? Would be interesting to know more about this.
Thanks bayucca & interesting observation... Do we know if these feathery tibia serve any purpose? I cannot find many resources on Horama, except that they are assumed to mimic Polistes.
Cool spotting!! They might also mimicry leaf-footed bugs. Does anybody knows how they taste, I mean the beetles and for birds? Unpalatable??
Lat: 20.40, Long: -87.32
Spotted on Dec 25, 2011 Submitted on Jan 24, 2012
and 7 other people favorited this spotting