Eye spots in Lepidoptera attract attention in humans
Yorzinski, Jessica L.
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Many prey species exhibit defensive traits to decrease their chances of predation. Conspicuous eye-spots, concentric rings of contrasting colours, are one type of defensive trait that some species exhibit to deter predators. We examined the function of eye-spots in Lepidoptera to determine whether they are effective at deterring predators because they resemble eyes (‘eye mimicry hypothesis’) or are highly salient (‘conspicuous signal hypothesis’). We recorded the gaze behaviour of men and women as they viewed natural images of butterflies and moths as well as images in which the eye-spots of these insects were modified.
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