Data on mimetic accuracy
Myrmecomorphy is the most frequent type of Batesian mimicry. Myrmecomorphic species differ in the accuracy with which they resemble ants, however, the hypothesis of the co-evolution of mimetic traits has been rarely tested. Here, we measured dozens of traits of colour, shape, size, and behaviour, and quantified objectively the resemblance between dozens of arthropod mimics and ants. In all traits, the mimics were more similar to ants than to closely related non-myrmecomorphic species. We found that mimics resemble ants mainly in colour and behaviour, and less in size and body shape. We found that the mimetic accuracy in four trait categories show divergent co-evolutionary patterns. Mimetic accuracy in colour was positively correlated to shape and size in insects but negatively in spiders, presumably reflecting developmental constraints. Accuracy in shape was negatively related to movement in both insects and spiders supporting the motion-limited discrimination hypothesis.
Steps to reproduce
Data were obtained by measuring colouration, shape, size and movement using various instruments - for details see Methods of the paper