Definition of Müllerian mimicry in English:

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Müllerian mimicry

Pronunciation: /myo͞oˈli(ə)rēən/ Pronunciation: /milˈi(ə)r-/


A form of mimicry in which two or more noxious animals develop similar appearances as a shared protective device, the theory being that if a predator learns to avoid one of the noxious species, it will avoid the mimic species as well. Compare with Batesian mimicry.
Example sentences
  • These sister species are sympatric across much of Central and Andean South America below 1500 m; both are unpalatable and warningly colored, and their speciation has been accompanied by a shift in Müllerian mimicry.
  • This is largely due to their bright wing-color patterns and Müllerian mimicry among species.
  • To measure natural selection generated by Müllerian mimicry, I exploited the unusual polymorphism of Heliconius cydno (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae).


Late 19th century: named after Johann F. T. Müller (1821–97), German zoologist.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: Mül·le·ri·an mim·ic·ry

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