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.
Just as you think the butterfly season is coming to an end, some second generation individuals appear. I was very happy to come across these second brood Brown Argus (Aricia … Continue Reading Small, brown and moving north!
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