Russel Wallace and Warning Colour
Warning colour, or "aposematism" was first
developed as an evolutionary hypothesis by Alfred Russel Wallace in 1866
in response to a query from Charles Darwin, four years after the
first publication on mimicry by Henry Walter Bates. Darwin's ideas of aesthetic
female choic in sexual selection explained much bright coloration in animals,
but Darwin realized that conspicuous black, yellow, and red sphingid caterpillars
couldn't be sexually selected since they didn't mate at that stage at all.
Wallace suggested that bright colours advertised the unpalatability of
the larvae, in the same way that yellow and black banding advertised defensive
sting of a hornet (Vespidae).
Back to MIMICRY AND