Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford


  • Karin KjernsmoEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_2670-1



Animal color patterns consisting of roughly concentric rings of contrasting colors.


Eyespots are animal color patterns consisting of (roughly) circular, often concentric rings of contrasting colors. Eyespots have received their name because (at least to humans) they often resemble the vertebrate eye. Eyespots are common in many terrestrial (land-living) animals such as insects (particularly in larval and adult moths and butterflies), birds and reptiles, but they are also widespread in many aquatic animals such as mollusks, flatworms and fishes (Poulton 1890). Eyespots are highly variable in appearance and occur in a variety of sizes, number and color combinations. Laboratory studies on butterflies have shown that the processes that explain the development of eyespot patterns are relatively simple and that it requires only one or at least very few changes in the regulatory genes to change the position, color and number of eyespots...


Mate Choice Passerine Bird Wing Margin Divertive Effect Longe Light Wavelength 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of BristolBristolUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • Russell Jackson
    • 1
  1. 1.University of IdahoMoscowUSA