Aposematism is the term used to describe the use of bright colouration to advertise that an organism is dangerous or unpalatable.
A good example would be the caterpillars of Cinnabar moths. The caterpillars have alternating orange and black bands down their bodies. The ragwort plants on which the caterpillars feed contain alkaloid poisons. As they eat the leaves the caterpillars store the poison and this is passed from caterpillar to pupa and finally to the imago/adult. The caterpillars advertise the fact that they are poisonous if eaten through their aposematic colouration.
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