Source: A tale of two butterflies
Whilst I was photographing these butterflies, I noticed that two males were closely associating with each other. But when I came to look at the images closely, it was apparent that they were not only absorbing liquids using their proboscises, but also secreting small amounts of liquid from the end of their abdomens. Quite what is going on, I don’t know, but it is interesting to record butterfly behaviour; there is so much we do not know about the lives of such species, and I hope this goes a small way to demonstrate the richness and complexity of the lives of living insects.
I am a retired entomologist with a background in quarantine pests and invasive invertebrates. I studied zoology at Imperial College (University of London) and did a PhD on the population dynamics of a cereal aphid (Metopolophium dirhodum) in the UK. I spent 5 years with the British Antarctic Survey studing cold hardiness of Antarctic invertebates and 17 years with the Food and Environment Research Agency. My main interests now are natural history, photography, painting and bird watching.