As we approach PLoS ONE’s third birthday (or, rather, our third second birthday), this week’s featured image comes from a paper published on the day of the journal’s launch, December 20, 2006, Predator Mimicry: Metalmark Moths Mimic Their Jumping Spider Predators, by Jadranka Rota and David L. Wagner.
In their article, Rota and Wagner report a case of mimicry among metalmark moths in the genus Brenthia, which mimic jumping spiders, one of their predators. The authors found that in the presence of jumping spiders, Brenthia moths had a higher survival rate than other moths of a similar size. Given that the spiders also responded to Brenthia with territorial displays, the researchers suggest that the spiders were mistaking these moths for other jumping spiders rather than recognising them as prey.
This week’s featured image is Figure 1 in the published article and shows a Brenthia moth’s (top) mimicry of a jumping spider (bottom) with wing markings, wing positioning, posture, and movement (drawing by Virginia Wagner). You can also watch the moths and spiders in action via the videos in the supporting information section of the paper.
As with all PLoS content, the image, videos and text from this article can be downloaded, modified, distributed or otherwise reused, as long as the authors and journal are credited, under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. If you would like to read other PLoS ONE papers on similar topics, please browse the journal website by subject.