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Former good article Mimicry was one of the Natural sciences good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
December 14, 2007 Good article nominee Listed
February 7, 2008 Good article reassessment Delisted
Current status: Delisted good article
WikiProject Ecology (Rated B-class, Mid-importance)
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WikiProject Evolutionary biology (Rated B-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is part of WikiProject Evolutionary biology, an attempt at building a useful set of articles on evolutionary biology and its associated subfields such as population genetics, quantitative genetics, molecular evolution, phylogenetics, evolutionary developmental biology. It is distinct from the WikiProject Tree of Life in that it attempts to cover patterns, process and theory rather than systematics and taxonomy). If you would like to participate, there are some suggestions on this page (see also Wikipedia:Contributing FAQ for more information) or visit WikiProject Evolutionary biology
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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Mimicry:
  • Work on foundation issues: Definitions and references
  • Overview/Introduction and/or History sections needed to open the article
  • Begin 'types of mimicry' with a discussion of the similarities and differences between all types, as well as other related topics such as camouflage.
  • Explain the terms mimicry ring and social mimicry.
  • Sensory systems involved and human bias toward visual mimics
  • More non-visual and non-animal examples needed. Try to incorporate some of these:
    • SIMCHA LEV-YADUN, MOSHE INBAR (2002) Defensive ant, aphid and caterpillar mimicry in plants? Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 77 (3), 393–398. doi:10.1046/j.1095-8312.2002.00132.x
    • LEV-YADUN, S. 2003a. Weapon (thorn) automimicry and mimicry of aposematic colorful thorns in plants. J. Theor. Biol. 224: 183-188.
    • Plant coloration undermines herbivorous insect camouflage S Lev-Yadun, A Dafni, MA Flaishman, M Inbar, I … - BioEssays, Volume 26, Issue 10 , Pages 1126 - 1130 (a case of the model 'fighting back')
    • Boyden, T. C. (1980) Floral Mimicry by Epidendrum ibaguense (Orchidaceae) in Panama Evolution 34:135-136.
    • Host-Parasite Resemblance in Australian Mistletoes: The Case for Cryptic Mimicry Bryan A. Barlow; Delbert Wiens Evolution > Vol. 31, No. 1 (Mar., 1977), pp. 69-84
    • Mimicry in female dragonflies/damselflies to avoid copulation.
  • Classification
    • Species composition and shorthand symbols
    • Need to find references for automimicry - does it include mimicry of an organisms own body parts or is that considered crypsis?
    • Collective or population mimicry
    • Direct vs. indirect
  • Daughter articles.
    • Expand and improve summaries here.
    • Possibilities: Mertensian, Automimicry, Classification of mimicry, Evolution of mimicry and Mimicry in plants, vertebrates and invertebrates are some possibilities. Perhaps also mimicry by sensory system, e.g. auditory mimicry, olfactory mimicry.
  • In evolutionary biology
    • Importance
    • Limitations - some signals cannot be successfully copied dishonestly, for example the stotting of a gazelle.
    • Learning vs. genetic recognition of the mimic.
    • Nature of the interactions in terms of fitness, effects of the arms race, nature of selection.
    • Mathematical models
  • Change references/further reading using cite templates for consistency
  • Create a Wikiquote page
Priority 2


Chemical mimicry[edit]

I added a little on how the Phengaris rebeli uses chemical mimicry to parasitize an ant species. NK2015 (talk) 2:45, 31 September 2013 (UTC)

Why is there a paragraph on Camouflage in the lead?[edit]

Why is there a paragraph on Camouflage in the lead, when the article (rightly, I think) does not cover the topic? It asserts (probably POV and arguably wrongly) that cam is always mimicry - well, is motion camouflage mimicry? Or motion dazzle? I don't think so. So the 'broader' is basically POV if not OR, really. Either the paragraph should go, or it should (if there is reason) be rewritten in the body of the article. The truth is that the phenomena have some degree of overlap but are not the same, and neither subsumes the other. Chiswick Chap (talk) 20:25, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

Is it covered in the cited source Pasteur, G. (1982). "A classificatory review of mimicry systems". Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 13: 169–199. doi:10.1146/ ? Shyamal (talk) 10:30, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
It's not on JSTOR, but it covers Mimesis (the second sentence of the paragraph) which is not problematic; it's certainly a form of camouflage. What is wrong is the (dismissive, OR-ish) attempt to subsume camouflage here. Chiswick Chap (talk) 12:03, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Broadly, I go along with Chiswick Chap about para 2. The definition {#1 ref) clearly states the case for mimicry being a difference concept from camouflage. There is, of course, some relation between the two. That relation may be that both are types of crypsis, assuming we use that term broadly. Therefore I think the last sentence of the second para is basically OK. Macdonald-ross (talk) 16:33, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
OK, I've updated the paragraph " related to camouflage..." leaving the last sentence unchanged. See what you think. I wonder if it should move to the body? Chiswick Chap (talk) 08:56, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

Intro copy edit[edit]

Well, I did a copy edit on the first part of the very long intro, and it threw up some points:

  1. The first para (and the intro as a whole) was far too long & complex, IMO. In all forms of technical and scientific writing the intro needs to be synoptic rather than complete. Consider Sci Am as a very good example, and the use of simple introductory articles by Nature. It is not advisable for the intro to try and cover every twist & turn of the very complex pattern of life. I separated out the first few statements into its own paragraph. I did not touch the overall length because I wanted to give time for others to consider. But I think much of the intro belongs in the body of the article.
  2. I don't know what is meant by "mimicry complex", over & above what has already been said in the text. I consulted Wickler's 1968 book, and he doesn't use the term at all there. Ruxton et al don't use it in "Avoiding attack". Remembering that we have the term "mimicry ring" for the really complex multi-species set-ups, what does mimicry system achieve as a term? If there is no clear explanation forthcoming, the phrase should come out, IMO.
  3. Thirdly, I offered a better way to add page #s using the sup facility. The previous method was clumsy and obtrusive. Rather than talk about it, I changed the style so others could compare it. It's just a matter of typography, really.

It won't worry me at all if others take a different view. But in support of the intelligent non-specialist readers, I hope you will agree with the general thrust of my argument. Macdonald-ross (talk) 12:00, 10 March 2014 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

I propose that Phylogenetics of mimicry be merged into Mimicry, leaving a redirect. The article, which seems to be a student essay-piece as part of a class visit to Wikipedia, says little that isn't already here, beyond the suggestion that the phylogenetics should be interesting but little is yet known (the Batesian mimicry of Papilio polytes is controlled by the doublesex gene). The small amount of new material can readily be merged here without making the article too long. There is quite large overlap on the basics of (Batesian and Müllerian) mimicry, which can essentially be discarded without loss. Chiswick Chap (talk) 09:00, 4 July 2015 (UTC)

I support the suggestion that these two articles should be merged. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 05:05, 11 July 2015 (UTC)