Naturalist Henry Bates identifies 8000 new insects from the Amazon region

(112 words)
  • Editors

Historical Context Note

Henry Walter Bates was a colleague of the naturalist Alfred Russell Wallace, who had travelled with him to the Amazon in 1848. While Wallace returned in 1852, and lost his collection of specimens in a shipwreck, Bates remained in the Amazon for eleven years, and when he returned to Britain, brought back with him a collection of over 14 000 species, of which more than 8000 were previously completely unknown. He was also the first scientist to recognise the phenomenon of mimicry, whereby one species pretends to be another. One particular form, whereby one animal tries to look like a less palatable one in order to prevent it being eaten, has been named 'Batesian mimicry' after him.

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Editors. "Naturalist Henry Bates identifies 8000 new insects from the Amazon region". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 August 2013
[, accessed 01 October 2016.]