In a new film, Anna Lindemann uses predation by Anolis sagrei on a group of beetles to explore the evolution of Batesian mimicry. Anna combines her interests in biology, art, and music to produce animations and live productions that explore processes in developmental biology and evolution.
Anna’s newest release, titled “Beetle Bluffs,” is inspired by the observations of biologist P. J. Darlington. Darlington might be most familiar to blog readers as the namesake for the Haitian anole, A. darlingtoni. In 1938, Darlington published a brief series of experiments examining the consumption of beetles with differing color patterns by A. sagrei. He concluded that Batesian mimicry was likely occurring, in which the color patterns of the inedible Thonalmus beetles are mimicked by several other edible beetle species in order to avoid predation. “Beetle Bluffs” combines stop-motion animation and archival material from Harvard University’s Museum of Comparative Zoology to bring life to this story. Enjoy!
Darlington, PJ. 1938. Experiments on mimicry in Cuba, with suggestions for future study. Transactions of the Royal Entomological Society of London 87: 681-695.