Eyespots are markings on an insect, usually on the surface of the fore or hind wings, that resemble a mammalian eye. They usually consist of two or more concentric circles with a dark centre representing the pupil of a mammal's eye. Eyespots are used to scare off potential predators by making the insect appear to be part of a much larger organism.
In some species the eyespots are concealed when at rest but can be 'flashed' at a predator in an attempt to scare them away.
A photograph of the Eyed Hawkmoth (Smerinthus ocellata) showing the bright eyespots on the hind wings.
Photograph by Algirdas.
Other names for (or types of) Eyespot include:
- False eye
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