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Butterfly body language

Source: Butterfly body language

Butterflies in the family Pieridae (Whites, Sulphurs, Yellows) have evolved a very specific piece of behaviour, or body language, called the mate refusal posture: the wings of the female are held wide open –  at or below the horizontal – and the abdomen is raised up, almost to a vertical position, often with the genitalia extruded

Green-veined white (Pieris napi) butterflies. Female below in mate refusal posture


Nature notes

rcannon992 View All

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.

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