The Theory of Warning Colouration in Butterflies
However, it would be untrue to say that all brightly colourful butterflies are unpalatable. Other than those which mimic the unpalatable model, which will be the subject of a forthcoming blog article, there are other species that are as equally colourful and bright, but without possessing any primary defense characteristics and are hence fair prey for a predator.
So the next time you see a colourful and recognisable butterfly fluttering amongst the flowers in your garden, consider the fact that it may be intentionally attracting attention to itself as an advertisement of its unprofitability as a prey item to potential predators. To us humans however, we look in awe and admiration at its beauty and colours as one of Mother Nature's Flying Jewels.
Text by Khew SK : Photos by Henry Koh, Khew SK & Anthony Wong