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Summarize in not more than 120 words, how camouflaging and mimicry help insects

 
Have you ever wondered why soldiers are always clad in green? This is to enable them to camouflage themselves during wartime. Hiding in the jungles, their green attire blend into the surrounding trees and shrubs, making it difficult for the enemies to spot them.

Long before man make use of camouflaging, insects have already adopted the tactic of disguise to escape from the clutches of their predators. By having body colors close to those of the rocks and dried leaves, they catch less attention from the predators and hence escape from being pursued. However, this kind of disguise works only if the insects remain still in the presence of their predators.

Butterflies and moths have developed a variety of camouflage strategies since they are quite defenceless and their predators - birds are abundant in supply. Many moth caterpillars resemble dead twigs while the young of certain species of butterflies appear like bird droppings. Adult butterflies and moths camouflage themselves too, in attempts to escape from their hunters -- birds who are superior gliders. Possessing wings which resemble dried leaves help certain butterflies and moths to hide among heaps of dried leaves when predators are around.

Fortunately, not all insects choose the art of disguise to escape from their predators; otherwise, the world would be so dull and colorless. There are insects which assimilate the bright body colors of bees and wasps to escape from being pursued by their predators. The concept of mimicry was derived, owing to the bees and wasps. Long ago, birds have already learnt to avoid brilliantly colored wasps and bees in fear of their painful stings. Hence, over millions of years, many harmless insects have assimilated the bees and wasps by imitating their bright body colors and shapes. In this way, they appear dangerous to their predators and hence ward them off.

Mimics of the wasps and bees are most commonly found in the gardens. The furry, plump bee-fly not only appears like the bumble bee in terms of body colors, even its hums sound similar too. The only difference is that the bee-fly does not have a sting and is hence harmless. The hoverfly is another insect which imitates the body colors of the wasps. Their bodies are striped yellow and black. The only deviations are that hoverflies do not have stings and they have only one pair of wings each while wasps have two pairs each. These variations are hardly noticed by the predators and hence help them to escape.

 
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Answer
 

Camouflaging and mimicry have helped defenceless insects escape from their predators. Camouflaging requires insects to have body colors close to the surroundings so as to appear less eye-catching to predators. The moth caterpillars look like dead twigs while certain butterfly caterpillars resemble bird droppings. Some butterflies and moths have wings that resemble dried leaves. Mimicry requires harmless insects to adopt the body colors and shapes of the wasps and bees so as to fool their predators into thinking that they are dangerous. Predators usually avoid them, thinking they have stings too. The bee-fly and hoverfly assimilate the body colors of the bumble bee and wasps respectively and the bee-fly even hums like the bumble bee. ( 118 words )

     
camouflage   the use of leaves, branches, paints and clothes for hiding soldiers or military equipment so that they look part of their surroundings
     
assimilate   to become similar to
     
ward off   to prevent something unpleasant from harming or approaching you
     
 
 

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