Many animals in the rainforest use adaptations to trick their predators and their prey. These animals adapt and survive by being able to copy other animals. They might even copy their surroundings, such as changing color to blend in. This is called mimicry. Animals that do the copying are called mimics. There are many types of mimicry. This red milkweed beetle takes on the appearance of a ladybug. If you’ve ever picked up a ladybug, then you know all too well what it smells like. Ladybugs give off a foul odor to avoid being eaten, as they smell and taste horrible. This red milkweed beetle also tastes horrible, due to the toxic milkweed that it eats. The beetle uses the familiar ladybug coloring to advertise a warning to predators that, like the ladybug, it tastes bad.
Rainforest Kids Science curriculum connection: Unit 2: Chapter 2, Lesson 3, Grades K-5