In many butterfly species, the posterior end of the hindwings of individuals perching with their wings closed resembles a butterfly head. This “false head” pattern is considered an adaptation to deflect predator attacks to less vulnerable parts of the body. The presence of symmetrical damage in left and right wings is considered evidence of failed predator attacks to perching butterflies. In this research, we tested the prediction derived from the deflection hypothesis that the degree of resemblance of the false head area (FH) to a real head, as measured by the number of FH “components” (eyespots, “false antennae”, modified outline of the FH area and lines converging on the FH area) present in the hindwings, is positively correlated to the frequency of symmetrical damage in the FH area. We studied specimens from two scientific collections of butterflies of the subfamily Theclinae (Lycaenidae) belonging to the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (Colección Nacional de Insectos [CNIN] and Museo de Zoología, Facultad de Ciencias [MZFC]). We scored the presence of symmetrical damage in a sample of 20,709 specimens (CNIN: 3,722; MZFC: 16,987) from 126 species (CNIN: 78 species; MZFC: 117 species; 71 species shared by both collections) whose hindwings vary in the number of FH components, and found that, as predicted, the proportion of specimens with symmetrical damage increases as the number of FH components increases. We also tested the hypothesis that behavioural differences between the sexes makes males more prone to receive predator attacks and, thus, we predicted a higher frequency of symmetrical damage in the FH of males than in that of females. We found that the frequency of symmetrical damage was not significantly different between males and females, suggesting that behavioural differences between the sexes produce no differences in the risk of being attacked. Overall, our results provide support to the idea that the FH of butterflies is an adaptation that deflects predator attacks to less vulnerable parts of the body in both sexes.