M. Y. Wang et al., Animal Behaviour 127 (May 2017) © 2017 The Association for the Study of Animal Behavior

This moth could pass for a spider

Look closely at the wings of this moth and you might just see a spider staring back at you. Jumping spiders of the family Salticidae are the main predator of the metalmark moth (Brenthia coronigera), an insect native to India, southern China, and Taiwan, where it dwells in sunny patches like the edges of forests. Instead of fighting back, the moths blend in, having evolved wing spots that resemble the eyes of spiders and stripes on their wings that resemble the first pair of legs of jumping spiders, researchers report this month in Animal Behaviour. When the spider faces the moth, it sees another spider and does not attack. The moth even makes a “peacocklike” display raising its forewings and twisting its hindwings to showcase the eyespots and stripes, while moving and jumping like a spider. The mimicry is so good that, rather than eating the moth, the spiders respond to the courting display and dance along.