Black and red and poisonous! Burnet moths

What does this strikingly black and red coloured moth say to you? Eat me? Or, don’t touch me because I am poisonous? It should say the latter! Because bright, contrasting colours like this are aposematic. They are universal warning colours which apply throughout the animal kingdom; and if you don’t know them, you will soon…

Jezebels with gorgeous warning colours

These delightfully coloured, red, yellow and black Delias species – such as the Red-spot Jezebel (Delias descombesi descombesi) (above) – are widely thought to be poisonous, or at least unpalatable, and the colour patterns are therefore aposematic, i.e. a warning signal to potential predators. I was surprised therefore, to discover that until recently, the evidence…