Black. We all know what it is. The absence of light; the opposite of white. But are there gradations of black? Are some blacks blacker than others? The answer is … Continue Reading Butterflies with black wings
If insects could talk – English preferably! – I would like to ask them what they think is the key to their great success! In particular, I would like to … Continue Reading Order, order! Insect diversity.
Tibial spurs are an ancient feature, found on most insects, from bees to moths, although in some species they have been lost or modified over evolutionary time to suit the … Continue Reading Insect tibial spurs: a highly versatile tool!
The subject of reduced or modified forelegs in butterflies might strike some people as being rather obscure, but it is – as I hope to demonstrate – a fascinating tale … Continue Reading Forelegs and four legs in butterflies!
It’s a wonder we all don’t meet up on the top of hills or mountains! It’s such a great way of finding someone: just keep going up until you get … Continue Reading Love in high place: hilltopping butterflies
Marsh fritillaries, Euphydryas aurinia (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae), are one of my favourite butterflies. The beautiful tapestry of yellow, orange and black colours on their wings creates a stunningly attractive pattern, especially … Continue Reading Love is a carousel: courting Marsh fritillaries!
Finding a publisher This was my first book and I was very pleased to get offered a contract by CABI Publishing. I initially approached a well-known (Oxbridge!) University Press, but … Continue Reading Lessons learnt in writing a book (on Courtship and mating in butterflies)
Capturing animal behaviour in a photograph (or even a video) is never easy. The wonderful natural history programmes we see on television, have often taken the film-makers months, if not … Continue Reading Capturing butterfly behaviour in the field
Last year I came across these beautiful Indian purple emperors (Mimathyma ambica) at the, now famous site, for viewing mud puddling butterflies in northern Thailand. There is something about the … Continue Reading Iridescent emperor butterflies
We are all phenotypes! A phenotype is what is produced by the interaction of our genetic code (genotype) with the environment. That is, the environment in the fullest sense of … Continue Reading We are all phenotypes! butterflies included😂.
The Chocolate albatross (Appias lyncida) is a fairly common butterfly in Asia, which can be found from Sri Lanka to Borneo. There are a number of different subspecies across this … Continue Reading A lovely chocolate and yellow butterfly!
I was very pleased to come across a large group of Tawny Coster (Acraea terpsicore) butterflies when I was in Thailand last October. They were very active, and although I … Continue Reading Lock up your ladies! The Tawny Coster butterfly.
These delightfully coloured, red, yellow and black Delias species – such as the Red-spot Jezebel (Delias descombesi descombesi) (above) – are widely thought to be poisonous, or at least unpalatable, … Continue Reading Jezebels with gorgeous warning colours
I was very pleased to come across this butterfly, the common birdwing, recently. Although it is fairly common, I had not had a chance to try and photograph it before. … Continue Reading Yellow peril! Aposematic colouration in Troides butterflies
When landlords turn the drunken beeOut of the foxglove’s door,When butterflies renounce their drams,I shall but drink the more! (Poem 51: ‘I taste a liquor never brewed’ quoted from The Selected … Continue Reading Drunken Admirals!
I came across this little female Holly blue (Celastrina argiolus) butterfly, depositing her eggs on bramble buds on 16th June 2019 in Galicia, Spain. It possible that she was a … Continue Reading Leave me alone! I’m laying an egg. Holly blue oviposition.