• mimicry;
  • crypsis;
  • colour patterns;
  • polymorphism;
  • convergent evolution;
  • natural selection;
  • animal communication;
  • perception

There have been many different and conflicting definitions of mimicry. Some of the definitions of mimicry include crypsis and others do not. Each definition includes different groups of phenomena and uses different criteria to distinguish mimetic from non-mimetic phenomena. The confusion is eliminated by a consideration of the criteria of all definitions. This shows that there are in fact three major criteria dividing six phenomona, rather than a single dichotomy between mimicry and crypsis (Table 2). The criteria are defined by the results of a mistake in discrimination between the model and mimìc: (a) the mistake does or does not depend upon relationship between mimic and background; (b) the mistake has or has no effect on the population dynamics or evolution of the model and (c) the mistake affects dynamics or evolution of one or of many models. The main reason for the contusion about mimicry and crypsis is that each author's definition includes differing and partially overlapping subsets of the six classes: crypsis; masquerade; Batesism; Müllerism; polymorphism and convergence.