The female Blue Moon butterfly

The female of the Blue Moon butterfly looks drastically different and mimics a poisonous species of another type of butterfly. As a matter of fact, the female is a mimic with multiple morphs. The upper side of the female wings are brownish black in colour and unlike the wings of the males, do not have any white spots The edges have white markings which are very similar to a poisonous species of butterfly called Common Indian Crow.
This is a case of Batesian mimicry, where a harmless species mimics the warning signals of a harmful species for protection.
The Blue Moon Butterfly made international headlines a few years ago, when the male butterflies in the South Pacific Samoan islands were nearly wiped off by an invasive bacterial species, leaving an alarmingly low male to female sex ratio 1:99. However, the males have staged an amazing comeback by evolving resistance to the parasitic bacteria. This is a prime example of one of the fastest evolution at work, something that happens only once in a blue moon.


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