Adaptive coloration results from natural selection. The following types of coloring:
Patronizing – coloring, making the animal invisible against the background of the environment. In many species of nocturnal moths, the upper side of the wings is always colored to the color of the substrate on which they sit during the day. At rest, the front wings fold along the back, covering the abdomen and lower wings. Butterflies become invisible to insectivorous birds. The role of protective color in seasonally changing conditions is great. For example, many animals of middle and high latitudes in winter are white in color, which makes them invisible in the snow (arctic fox, hare, ermine, partridge, etc.). In a number of animals, a rapid (within several minutes) adaptive change in body color is observed, which is achieved by the redistribution of pigments in the chromatophores of the skin or other integuments of the body in flounder, agam lizard, chameleon and other animals
Cautionary – a very bright color characteristic of well-protected animals – poisonous, burning, stinging, etc. forms. Bright coloring warns the predator in advance about the inedibility of the object of their attack. This color is clearly demonstrative in nature and signals the inedibility of the organisms possessing it. Caution coloring is often combined with an unpleasant odor. So, in ordinary ladybugs and bugs, soldier bugs, a warning sign is a combination of bright red and black colors, the same type of coloring is found in slow-moving butterfly butterflies sitting on flowers and soft-bodied soft-bodied beetles, abundant in the steppe strip. In other cases, the combination of black and bright yellow, as we see on the abdomen of wasps and bumblebees, as well as in many butterfly caterpillars and beetles, has a warning value.
A special type is the so-called “light warning coloration”, examples of which we saw on hawthorn dolls, gold-winged butterfly and cabbage caterpillars; even more striking example of this type of coloring can serve as a caterpillar, pupa and adult butterfly gooseberry moth, harming our gardens.
Beetles often have greenish or bluish colors with a strong metallic luster (“bronze”): we will find them in many ground beetles – predatory beetles, protected by the release of a caustic liquid with a piercing odor; many poisonous leaf beetles; at strongly odorous, possessing absurd properties of shabanok (“shpanskiy flies”); bronze beetles protected by an unusually strong chitinous carapace, especially found in summer on meadowsweet inflorescences. In many other beetles, for example among ground beetles, we will also find a resinous black glossy warning color.
Mimicry – imitation, lies in the fact that unprotected animals in the process of evolution become similar to protected species. This allows them to avoid the attack of predators. South American butterflies butterflies mimic the color, shape, flight, inedible butterflies of heliconids. Also an example are some non-toxic snakes: there is a type of snake that, in its color, resembles a deadly dangerous asp and differs from it only by alternating stripes. In addition to coloring, mimicking animals have a characteristic behavior: female flies behave like wasps, imitating aggression.