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Mimicry, Aposematism and Related Phenomena
in Animals and Plants
By Stanislav Komárek
$103.50 paper original
The aim of this book is to present as exhaustive as possible a bibliography of literature on mimicry, aposematism and related phenomena written between the years 1800 and 1990. Only a few titles after 1990 have been included, either because of their extraordinary interest, or because they have originated in the author's direct surroundings. However, no systematic background research of literature has been carried out after this year. The intention has been to cover rather the older literature threatened to gradually fall in oblivion than the very recent titles which are easily accessible for those interested in them. As the number of publications on mimicry is almost boundless and as the works treat of numerous details, it is very likely that unless they are systematically -recorded, much information and many conceptual observations of the older, particularly non-English, literature would be lost for good (if the name of an older title appears in quotation marks, it is not the exact name that is cited but a paraphrase of the original name). The author certainly does not think that he has covered fully the existing literature on this subject (there are over 5000 items related to mimicry in animals and plants) and, therefore, plans to publish addenda (and will be grateful for any references to literature hitherto omitted).
Subject delimitation is another difficult issue and the author is aware that in marginal areas the selection of works to be included in this bibliography has been quite arbitrary. Titles included fully are those on Batesian, Muellerian, and Peckhamian mimicry, on partial mimicry (eyespots, false heads, etc.), and works on aposematism. Only some of the works on cryptic coloration have been included, particularly whenever they deal with more sophisticated crypsis, such as absolute assimilation to some parts of plants (the so-called phytomimesis) or to certain inorganic substrata. With some exceptions, the work does not include the following subjects: coloration and structures used for epigamous and intra-specific signal effects, colour change, colour adjustment to surroundings, continuous as well as single (the colour adjustment of butterfly puppae), the entire issue of industrial melanism in butterflies, and any purely sound and vocal mimicry if not accompanied by a morphological resemblance (an endlessly rich literature on imitation phenomena in birds).
As the intention of this work is to approach mimicry from the point of view of phenomena rather than that of interpretation, the book is indexed primarily by subjects (mimics), by genera or higher systematic groups that mimic other organisms, or, more rarely, abiotic phenomena, as well as by models, i.e. organisms or higher taxa that are mimicked. A functional or other interpretation of this kind mimicry is accentuated in the index by a less fine scale of division, as the interpretations can vary a lot in specific cases, while the taxonomic affiliation of an organism is not subject to such interpretative variations and is usually less questionable. The index cannot be used mechanically because information on a certain genus may also be included in all publications indexed for units superior to it (family, order, class, etc.). Moreover, it is always necessary to go through all the basic publications on mimicry phenomena (682, 746, 894, 1142, 1192, 1620, 1787, 1992, 2520, 2891, 3011, 3134, 3184, 3432, 4158, 4647) which due to their book form or largely monographic nature include so much information that it is impossible for them to be sensibly indexed in a way fit for short articles or monothematic studies prevailing in this bibliography (the above-mentioned basic publications form an essential part of the equipment of anyone who wants to seriously deal with mimicry and aposematism, and possession and knowledge of them is a prerequisite for such study).
The usage of generic names corresponds intentionally with their use in respective books and does not pretend to translate them into current nomenclature, which would be a task far beyond anyone's power due to its enormous scope. This is the reason why sometimes two apparent synonyms are used as two different generic names, and only exceptionally they are unified for some 'classical' subjects of mimetism and aposematism (Danaus, Thyria). The system itself has been simplified on purpose and it works also with 'collective' taxa (like 'Evertebrata', 'Lepidoptera Heterocera') to facilitate orientation (the ambition of this book is absolutely not taxonomical). Individual families (even subfamilies in butterflies of the Nymphalidae family) are distinguished only in the largest insect orders (Lepidoptera, Coleoptera, Diptera, Hymenoptera, Heteroptera, Homoptera), spiders, and in higher plants, otherwise only systematic units on the level of order and higher are used. For the sake of clarity, the systematic part combines a systematic viewpoint with an alphabetical one; besides this a purely alphabetical index of taxa is used.
Apart from information on the mimic and the model (if it exists at all), every work describes a zoogeographical - or phytogeographical - region, which is quite a reasonable point of view (particularly in butterflies, for instance). Every work also gives information on the type of adaptive coloration (such as crypsis, aposematism, various types of mimicry, etc.). Further, every work describes its own genre and character (like descriptive, ethological, toxicological, genetic, or evolutionary work), though the scale here is far more coarse than in the taxon treated (the purpose of which has been explained above).
Abbreviations used for all the common data are listed at the beginning of the book in the abbreviation index (sometimes with a short explanation). The abbreviations are structured so that no combination of letters is repeated, even though they may stand for different types of data (biogeographical characteristics, type of problem, mimic, model, type of work). The work is divided into a part dealing with mimicry, aposematism and related phenomena in animals (some works dealing with plants as a marginal subject are also included here), and into another, far less extensive part, dealing with similar phenomena in plants, in which sometimes specific abbreviations are used (though the nature of mimicry in animals and plants is the same, it is not commensurable in terms of terminology). The section on mimicry in plants includes also a few works on mimicry in fungi.
Biology; Botany; Entomology