One day, earlier in the summer (on 28th June 19), I came across huge numbers of common blue damselflies (Enallagma cyathigerum) which had emerged from a lake – Felmersham gravel … Continue Reading Mating damselflies; there’s a lot going on, unseen!
Courtship in pierid butterflies, such as brimstones, is usually fairly brief, but can nevertheless, feature some interesting interactions. I happened across a short, unsuccessful courtship in this pair of common … Continue Reading Courting brimstones: wing walking
I was very fortunate, I think, to come across this mating pair of bumblebee hoverflies (Volucella bombylans), which are well-known mimics of bumblebees. The interesting thing is that they were … Continue Reading Polymorphic mating in bumblebee hoverflies
This month (July), we have seen the appearance of many bright orange comma butterflies; the so-called, hutchinsoni form of Polygonia c-album. These lovely orange-coloured butterflies are the first brood to … Continue Reading Carefree commas!
What I love about macro photography is that it allows you to enter the world of the insect; at least for an instance. It gives us a glimpse of lives … Continue Reading Tiny other lives – photographic insights into insect worlds
Meadow brown (Maniola jurtina) butterflies, must, I think, be one of the most common and widespread butterflies in Europe. I am surprised therefore, not to be able to find any … Continue Reading Courtship bowing in meadow browns
I came across a pair of large skippers (Ochlodes sylvanus) joined in copula. The female usually carries the male in skippers, as shown below. The female is on top, basking … Continue Reading Coitus interruptus or coitus disturbus?!
Anyone who has ever sat and watched dragonflies flying over a pond; turning back and forth and darting up to investigate an intruder, will not be surprised to learn … Continue Reading Dragonfly eyes
The Comma (Polygonia c–album) is a familiar butterfly, seen throughout most of England and Wales in the summer. Most people will have looked at the white ‘comma’ mark on the … Continue Reading Distractive markings on lepidopteran wings
One of the best known migratory butterflies, the painted lady, undertakes a yearly migration, along what is best described as a ‘continuously breeding migration path’ (Stefanescu. 2013). This annual, multi‐generational round‐trip is … Continue Reading Painted ladies on tour – butterfly migration
Why is that in some butterflies, the sexes are identical, whereas in other species the male and female are very different? Not an easy question to answer I think. In … Continue Reading Sexual dimorphism: when Mr and Mrs butterfly dress differently!
Many people will be familiar with the sight of dragonflies (and damselflies) ‘in tandem’, without knowing exactly what is going on! I came across a pair of mating green marsh … Continue Reading Green marsh hawks mating
I am no expert when it comes to macro-photography. I don’t have the patience to set up all the equipment needed to get the perfect shot. Rather, I like … Continue Reading Portrait of a skipper – to flash or not to flash!
I am going to try and do something a little bit different in this blog; step back a bit and try to show butterflies in the habitats in which they … Continue Reading Butterflies in their habitats
Adult butterflies feed on a variety of fluids, including nectar, water, damp substrates (mud), rotting fruit, excrement and so on. The term ‘mud puddling’, or just puddling, is usually used … Continue Reading Puddling, peeing and recycling in butterflies
In a classic study, the pioneering Dutch ethologist, Niko Tinbergen, and his students famously studied the courtship behaviour of the Grayling butterfly, Hipparchia (=Satyrus) semele, at Hulshorst – a sandy … Continue Reading Dots in spots: butterfly eyespots II. Tinbergen and the Grayling.