startle display A response by an animal to discovery by a predator in which the potential victim exposes some previously hidden markings, for example an eyespot, in order to surprise its attacker. This may enable the victim to escape or divert the attentions of the predator elsewhere. Some camouflaged insects use this as a second line of defence, flicking their forewings forwards when disturbed to reveal a pair of vividly coloured eyespots on the hindwings.
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