Analysis Of Crypsis

This example of the salt-and-pepper moth illustrates that crypsis still needed to be scientifically measured and fully quantified. In 1984 Endler began to use early techniques of image analysis to mathematically describe how well matched in terms of color patterning were moths in a North American woodland community with respect to different potential resting environments. If crypsis is "optimal" the patterning of the insect will represent a random assemblage of the pattern elements of the background. Endler also pointed out that there will be matching with respect to different components of the color patterns of both insect and resting background, namely, size, color, shape, and brightness. In some backgrounds, such as pine needles or bark with striations, the component of orientation should also be added. Failure to match with respect to any one of these components will lead to mismatching and ineffective crypsis. Because the color vision of many predators, including birds and insects, extends into the ultraviolet part of the spectrum, when color matching in crypsis is considered it often has to include the UV. Researchers have recently begun to use computergenerated patterns, image analysis, and "visual predators" to explore more fully the potential effects of interactions among predators and their prey that lead to the evolution of cryptic color patterns.

Cryptic color patterns may also include an element of banding, which is disruptive and can serve to break up the outline of the prey. Usually, such an element also has to blend into the resting background in terms of the prey representing a random assemblage of its pattern. However, this restriction is perhaps relaxed when crypsis is used only to protect a prey from a distance, such as in the brightly colored, banded moth caterpillers, including the cinnabar, Tyria jacobaeae, and the strikingly striped forewings of some arctiid moths, for example, Callimorpha quadripunctaria.

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