Insect-eating birds soon learn to associate distastefulness with the size, form and colour of the bees, and consequently leave them alone after one or more trials.
But if all the species in question resemble each other the resemblance will be mutually beneficial to them because the association between the two attributes they have in common, namely distastefulness and a particular scheme of colour, will be rapidly established.
Experiments to test distastefulness have also been made with various kinds of insectivorous Arthropoda, like spiders and mantises.
This knowledge is acquired by experience; and since it is not, at all events as a rule, taught by the first taste to any individual bird, it is reasonable to infer that a considerable amount of injury, sufficient to disable if not to kill, is annually inflicted upon insects belonging to species protected by distastefulness or kindred qualities.
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