, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 157–174 | Cite as

Artistic Notion of Mimicry, a Case Study: Does Triatoma maculata (Hemiptera: Reduviidae: Triatominae) Plagiarize Bees, Tigers or Traffic Signals?

  • Elis Aldana
  • Fernando Otálora-LunaEmail author


What we observe, through our usually limited lens, is that differential growing of space determines forms -characterized by their shape, size and coloration. As non-Euclidean geometrical mathematics have proclaimed: forms are manifestations of the curvature of space. Physics and other natural laws impose mathematical structural restrictions to biological forms. The molecules comprising any living form become arranged in specific ways in response to physical forces as well as chemical and biochemical conditions. Over time, such forms inherit additional historical (i.e. genetic) restrictions that make up their meaning, their semiotics. Color does not escape from this orthogenic reality. In this study, we present the colored pattern of the connexivum of Triatoma maculata, an insect vector of the etiologic agent of Chagas disease. This model is used as an example to appreciate mimicry under a heterodox and provocative approach. We unveil that beyond 1) mathematical and 2) historical semiotic restrictions of T. maculata mimesis of a yellowish-black alternating pattern, there are also 3) artistic interpretations; where metaphysics of life, beyond human perspective, is included.


Mimesis Mimetism Mimicry Hermeneutics, Triatoma maculata Chagas disease Sensory ecology 



We wish to acknowledge Julian David Otálora Cárdenas who kindly performed the triatomine illustration, Mariella Márquez Escobar for introducing us to Aníbal Rodríguez Silva’s ‘poetry of interpretation’, Joseph “Dick” Dickens for his spiritual and material support during the realization of this work, Kristian Köchy for his insights on the profound teachings of Adolf Portmann, Craig Lilyestrom for his revision of the manuscript and special thanks to FOL’s cousin Lynda for her precious editorial corrections.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratorio de Entomología “Herman Lent”, Departamento de Biología, Facultad de CienciasUniversidad de Los AndesMéridaBolivarian Republic of Venezuela
  2. 2.Department of Biology, School of Art & SciencesUniversity of RichmondRichmondUSA

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