In nature several life forms have evolved to survive overcoming other short comings. Mimicry is one such phenomenon - we see one species resembling another to protect itself or to prey up on. Some times species resembles its surroundings (camouflage) to avoid detection. Between
camouflage and mimicry is mimesis where in a species may resemble an object in nature to avoid detection. Further mimicry need not be visual always. It may even be smell, behaviour and other properties. It is interesting note that certain species of orchids use floral scent that imitates sex pheromone used by the pollinator species to attract a mate. Pollination occurs when pollinators attempt copulation (or so-called pseudocopulation) with the flower .
Here are some images I made over years which shows camouflages and mimesis. In the above image you see how Blue Oak Butterfly resembles a fallen dead leaf to protect itself from predators.
In this image above a spider (Arachnura melanura) mimics a dry fallen leaf to protect itself also probably to disguise itself from potential preys. Also known as scorpion-tailed spider, interestingly only female spider looks like this and is 1-3cm long while the male spiders are only a few
mm long and are tail less . While size protects the males and mimesis females ?? I am not sure, expert comments are welcome.
Below are some images that dipicts camouflages in nature.
Flying Lizard (Draco dussumieri) camouflages so well with tree bark and very often difficult to find them. Based on my observation of seeing
them for several days I think they have an ability to slightly change their color (grey tones) to match barks of different trees. I have seen the
draco perfectly matching with both lighter tree barks and darker tree barks (based on a few days of observation - not based on detailed scientific study however).
Two-tailed spider blends so well with barks of beetle nut tree. Do you see that BTW here ?
It is very difficult to spot these nightjars in the field. A made this image thanks to a naturalist at Bharatpur bird sanctuary.
Certain species of butterflies evolved to become non-palatable by caterpillars of them feeding on non-palatable plants which contain toxic componds like cardiac glycosides. This characteristic of palatable and non-palatable gives rise to interesting mimicry in nature. We see a group of non-palatable butterflies resembling each other so that a bird preying on them need not discover them to be non-palatable by consuming each one of them ! This kind of mimicry is known as Mullerian Mimicry, named after Fritz Muller who proposed it. We see this in non-palatable Tamil Lacewing mimicing non-palatable Striped Tiger. We also see some palatable butterflies mimicing non-palatable ones. This kind of mimicry is known as Batesian mimicry (named after H W Bates). We see this mimicry in palatable Danaid Eggfly mimicing non-palatable Plain Tiger.
Isn't it interesting how species evolved in nature to survice ? Hope to add more images to this thread in future. Please feel free to upload your images and related information to mimicry in nature here. Please restrict image size to about 500 pixels on loger side.
 Krishnamegh Kunte : India - A Lifescape : Butterflies of Peninsular India, University Press