Many moths and butterflies have coloration patterns that act as camouflage. As insectivorous birds have caught on, adaptation has furthered the camouflage cycle.
Small birds panic at the sight of predatory birds, many of which, especially hawks and owls, possess large, prominent eyes.
Automeris coresus is a moth that lives its larval stage disguised as a spiny plant. This is only its first disguise. An adult has cryptically colored forewings which blend into the terrain when the moth is settled.
Disturb a sitting moth and it will flash open its forewings to show its hindwings, which display eyespots. An agitated moth draws in its legs and rhythmically rocks, producing a startling effect that frightens small birds.
The Brazilian owl butterfly has an even closer proximity to owl eyes, including white flecks in an arc, exceedingly like a glint of light made by reflection of an owl eye. Hungry little songbirds are too spooked to try to take a bite out of the owl butterfly.