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at a longer distance it might be mistaken for one of the uneatable group, and so be passed by and gain another day's life, which might in many cases be sufficient for it to lay a quantity of eggs and leave a numerous progeny, many of which would inherit the peculiarity which had been the safeguard of their parent.

Now, this hypothetical case is exactly realized in South America. Among the white butterflies forming the family Pieridæ (many of which do not greatly differ in appearance from our own cabbage butterflies) is a genus of rather small size (Leptalis), some species of which are white like their allies, while the larger number exactly resemble the Heliconidæ in the form and colouring of the wings. It must always be remembered that these two families are as absolutely distinguished from each other by structural characters as are the carnivora and the ruminants among quadrupeds, and that an entomologist can always distinguish the one from the other by the structure of the feet, just as certainly as a zoologist can tell a bear from a buffalo by the skull or by a tooth. Yet the resemblance of a species of the one family to another species in the other family was often so great, that both Mr. Bates and myself were many times deceived at the time of capture, and did not discover the distinctness of the two insects till a closer examination detected their essential differences. During his residence of eleven years in the Amazon valley, Mr. Bates found a number of species or varieties of Leptalis, each of which was a more or less exact copy of one of the Heliconidæ of the district

it inhabited; and the results of his observations are embodied in a paper published in the Linnean Transactions, in which he first explained the phenomena of “mimicry” as the result of natural selection, and showed its identity in cause and purpose with protective resemblance to vegetable or inorganic forms.

The imitation of the Heliconidæ by the Leptalides is carried out to a wonderful degree in form as well as in colouring. The wings have become elongated to the same extent, and the antennæ and abdomen have both become lengthened, to correspond with the unusual condition in which they exist in the former family. In colouration there are several types in the different genera of Heliconidæ. The genus Mechanitis is generally of a rich semi-transparent brown, banded with black and yellow ; Methona is of large size, the wings transparent like horn, and with black transverse bands ; while the delicate Ithomias are all more or less transparent, with black veins and borders, and often with marginal and transverse bands of orange red. These different forms are all copied by the various species of Leptalis, every band and spot and tint of colour, and the various degrees of transparency, being exactly reproduced. As if to derive all the benefit possible from this protective mimicry, the habits have become so modified that the Leptalides generally frequent the very same spots as their models, and have the same mode of flight; and as they are always very scarce (Mr. Bates estimating their numbers at about one to a thousand of the group they resemble), there is hardly a

possibility of their being found out by their enemies. It is also very remarkable that in almost every case the particular Ithomias and other species of Heliconidæ which they resemble, are noted as being very common species, swarming in individuals, and found over a wide range of country. This indicates antiquity and permanence in the species, and is exactly the condition most essential both to aid in the development of the resemblance, and to increase its utility.

But the Leptalides are not the only insects who have prolonged their existence by imitating the great protected group of Heliconidæ ;—a genus of quite another family of most lovely small American butterflies, the Erycinidæ, and three genera of diurnal moths, also present species which often mimic the same dominant forms, so that some, as Ithomia ilerdina of St. Paulo, for instance, have flying with them a few individuals of three widely different insects, which are yet disguised with exactly the same form, colour, and markings, so as to be quite undistinguishable when upon the wing. Again, the Heliconidæ are not the only group that are imitated, although they are the most frequent models. The black and red group of South American Papilios, and the handsome Erycinian genus Stalachtis, have also a few who copy them; but this fact offers no difficulty, since these two groups are almost as dominant as the Heliconidæ. They both fly very slowly, they are both conspicuously coloured, and they both abound in individuals ; so that there is every reason to believe that they possess a protection of a similar kind

to the Heliconidæ, and that it is therefore equally an advantage to other insects to be mistaken for them. There is also another extraordinary fact that we are not yet in a position clearly to comprehend : some groups of the Heliconidæ themselves mimic other groups. Species of Heliconia mimic Mechanitis, and every species of Napeogenes mimics some other Heliconideous butterfly. This would seem to indicate that the distasteful secretion is not produced alike by all members of the family, and that where it is deficient protective imitation comes into play. It is this, perhaps, that has caused such a general resemblance among the Heliconidæ, such a uniformity of type with great diversity of colouring, since any aberration causing an insect to cease to look like one of the family would inevitably lead to its being attacked, wounded, and exterminated, even although it was not eatable.

In other parts of the world an exactly parallel series of facts have been observed. The Danaidæ and the Acræidæ of the Old World tropics form in fact one great group with the Heliconidæ. They have the same general form, structure, and habits: they possess the same protective odour, and are equally abundant in individuals, although not so varied in colour, blue and white spots on a black ground being the most general pattern. The insects which mimic these are chiefly Papilios, and Diadema, a genus allied to our peacock and tortoiseshell butterflies. In tropical Africa there is a peculiar group of the genus Danais, characterized by dark-brown and bluish-white colours, arranged in

bands or stripes. One of these, Danais niavius, is exactly imitated both by Papilio hippocoon and by Diadema anthedon ; another, Danais echeria, by Papilio cenea; and in Natal a variety of the Danais is found having a white spot at the tip of wings, accompanied by a variety of the Papilio bearing a corresponding white spot. Acræa gea is copied in its very peculiar style of colouration by the female of Papilio cynorta, by Panopæa hirce, and by the female of Elymnias phegea. Acræa euryta of Calabar has a female variety of Panopea hirce from the same place which exactly copies it; and Mr. Trimen, in his paper on Mimetic Analogies among African Butterflies, published in the Transactions of the Linnean Society for 1868, gives a list of no less than sixteen species and varieties of Diadema and its allies, and ten of Papilio, which in their colour and markings are perfect mimics of species or varieties of Danais or Acræa which inhabit the same districts.

Passing on to India, we have Danais tytia, a butterfly with semi-transparent bluish wings and a border of rich reddish brown. This remarkable style of colour-. ing is exactly reproduced in Papilio agestor and in Diadema nama, and all three insects not unfrequently come together in collections made at Darjeeling. In the Philippine Islands the large and curious Idea leuconöe with its semi-transparent white wings, veined and spotted with black, is copied by the rare Papilio idæoides from the same islands.

In the Malay archipelago the very common and

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