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Summary 1. Aposematism is an antipredatory strategy in which prey animals conspicuously signal their noxiousness to potential predators. This successful strategy is based on avoidance learning of predators. 2. Most species in the viperid genus Vipera have a characteristic dorsal zigzag pattern. It has previously been suggested that the dorsal zigza...
European vipers (genus Vipera) are venomous and often have a distinctive dorsal zigzag pattern. The zigzag pattern of vipers has been suggested to be an example of disruptive colouration which reduces the detectability of a snake. However, recent studies suggest that the patterns have an aposematic function, although those experiments did not exclu...
Predator avoidance of noxious prey, aposematism and defensive mimicry are normally associated with bright, contrasting patterns and colours. However, noxious prey may be unable to evolve conspicuous coloration because of other selective constraints, such as the need to be inconspicuous to their own prey or to specialist predators. Many venomous sna...
Predation pressure is expected to drive visual warning signals to evolve toward conspicuousness. However, coloration of defended species varies tremendously and can at certain instances be considered as more camouflaged rather than conspicuous. Recent theoretical studies suggest that the variation in signal conspicuousness can be caused by variatio...
The wide-ranging Eurasian common lizard Zootoca vivipara (Lichtenstein, 1823) is remarkably uniform morphologically but highly varied in its karyotype. Previous studies have revealed two distinctly different chromosomal forms of Z. v. vivipara in the Baltic basin. Moreover, a zone of secondary contact between these forms has been localized on the s...