Meaning of aposematic in English:


Pronunciation /ˌapə(ʊ)sɪˈmatɪk/


  • 1Zoology
    Denoting coloration or markings serving to warn or repel predators.

    ‘Alternatively, they may be used to signal to predators, the classic example being aposematic coloration in species that have noxious defenses, such as skunks.’
    • ‘Arthropods smaller than 1 mm, ants, isopods, and arthropods with aposematic colorations were excluded from the counts because these are rarely consumed by insectivorous birds.’
    • ‘Future research into the possible role of aposematic coloration in vascular plants could greatly expand our knowledge of plant/herbivore interactions.’
    • ‘Regression of the shell, development of aposematic colorations, and acquisition of toxic defenses are general evolutionary trends within the group.’
    • ‘Many animals and insects that taste awful, sting or can otherwise turn a good day sour have adapted this warning-label strategy, known as aposematic coloration.’
    1. 1.1(of an animal) having aposematic coloration or markings.
      ‘Additionally, taxonomically troubling taxa such as Crataegus makes identification and quantification of aposematic species extremely difficult.’
      • ‘Birds with prior experience of both prey types were allowed into an arena with both palatable prey and aposematic prey on backgrounds that either closely matched or contrasted with the coloration of the aposematic prey.’
      • ‘To further investigate the effects of prey contrast on predator behavior, I conducted an experiment with young chicks (Gallus gallus domesticus) as predators on live aposematic and nonaposematic prey.’


Late 19th century from apo-‘away from’ + Greek sēma ‘sign’ + -atic.