Because plants are sessile and their flowers and fruits are aggregated, plant mimics are less likely to be mistaken for their models than animal mimics which are mobile and dispersed among their models. Therefore, operator species are more likely to be deceived by animal mimics than plant mimics. In addition, the autonomy of plant appendages implies that warning mimicry provides less advantage to plants than to animals because plants suffer less from sampling by naive operators. Therefore, the advantage of warning mimicry is much greater for animals than plants. These reasons may explain why plant mimicry is less common than animal mimicry, based on attraction of rather than avoidance by operator species, and limited to the class of aggressive mimicry.
Biological Journal of the Linnean Society – Oxford University Press
Published: Aug 1, 1982
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