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Crypsis

Organisms with bright and conspicuous color patterns tend to attract the most attention both scientifi cally and aestheti-cally. However, the majority of insects and other animals rely on camoufl age or crypsis for survival from predators that hunt them by sight. Furthermore, crypsis may extend to include the other senses, namely, smell, touch, and sound. Indeed, any stimulus or sig-nal that can alert a potential predator could be expected to become part of a coordinated suite of cryptic traits. A form of crypsis is also shown by some predators that disguise themselves by assuming the same color and patterns as the background on which they hunt. H. B. Cott in 1940 wrote perhaps the best known book on animal
color patterns, but many of the great entomologists of the 19th cen-tury had already considered insect camoufl age. It is not usual to consider insect crypsis as a subject of applied biology but there are certainly many parallels with military expertise in either the hiding of or the searching for personnel and armaments in a landscape.

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