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Ullasa Kodandaramaiah, Patrik Lindenfors and Birgitta S. Tullberg Deflective and intimidating eyespots: a comparative study of eyespot size and position in Junonia butterflies Ecology and Evolution 3

Article first published online: 16 OCT 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/ece3.831

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We here test hypotheses about the antipredatory role of eyespots in a group of butterflies belonging to the genus Junonia using a comparative approach. We find that larger eyespots tend to be solitary, and we argue that being in a solitary disposition makes them more conspicuous, and hence large and solitary eyespots intimidate predators. We also report that smaller eyespots are found close to the wing margin away from vital body parts, suggesting that smaller eyespots act as decoys deflecting predatory attacks toward less vulnerable areas of the body.

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