In 1988, it was discovered that the Wood White butterfly (Leptidea sinapis (Linnaeus, 1758)) was actually two species, largely overlapping in their habitats, but virtually identical and only distinguishable by … Continue Reading Wood Whites go A-Courting!
It used to be thought that butterflies could not hear; that they were deaf. Well I suppose it is understandable, as they do not have ears sticking out from their … Continue Reading “Did you hear that?” Said the butterfly.
Common vetch plants (Vicia sativa) are much favoured by ants. The reason being that they have tiny glands – called extrafloral nectaries – which produce a nectar solution which the … Continue Reading Be my bodyguard and have a drink! Said the vetch to the ant.
There are two theories about eyespots on lepidopteran wings. The first is that large conspicuous eyespots can startle or intimidate predators into not attacking, or at least deter them long … Continue Reading Eyespots as deflection devices?
‘Puddling’ or ‘mud-puddling’ is when butterflies, moths and other insects settle on moist substrates to absorb liquids. Butterflies – particularly in the tropics – exhibit this puddling behaviour when feeding … Continue Reading See you down the puddle! Puddling in butterflies.
This butterfly is Vindula erota erota Fabricius, 1793: the Thai Cruiser. There are both Wet and Dry season forms of this species (1). This occurrence of different types or forms … Continue Reading A tale of two butterflies
When visiting Doi Chiang Dao – a place I have written about before (1) – last November (2015), I came across some interesting aggregations of butterflies; composed mainly of Blues … Continue Reading Bunches of butterflies
It is said that 50% of wild butterflies are killed and eaten before they get a chance to mate and reproduce (1). Poor things! One way to avoid being eaten … Continue Reading Peck me here! Butterfly predation.
The caterpillars of this species – the Spurge Hawk-moth (Hyles euphorbiae) – are highly variable and there are many different subspecies; some of which are now regarded as separate species (1, 2). … Continue Reading A complex caterpillar!
When a butterfly takes off, it becomes airborne in less than a quarter of a wing beat and can experience a vertical acceleration of about 10 g! (1). Butterflies use … Continue Reading Butterfly takes off!
Take a photograph of a flower, examine it closely – or enlarge it on a computer screen – and you will invariably find an insect lurking somewhere in the picture. … Continue Reading Flowers and insects: an ancient alliance
The Butterfly Pavilion in Amsterdam’s Artis Zoo is one of the best butterfly houses I have seen. There are a wide range of butterfly species flying around in the large … Continue Reading Butterfly Pavilion at Artis Zoo
There were huge numbers of Marsh Fritillary (Eurodryas aurina) butterflies flying about in Galicia (north-west Spain) when I visited the province in late April. Many of them were feeding on a … Continue Reading Feeding on hemlock!
Burnet moths look to me like they are wearing fancy red and black coats! But their sartorial elegance and vivid colouration spell out a clear warning to any would be … Continue Reading Yellow and black larvae; red and black adults; what am I?
Visitors to Chiang Mai usually head up the mountain to visit Wat Doi Sutep. Beautiful and impressive though this temple is, it can get quite crowded on weekends and holidays. … Continue Reading Forest walk
Pansies are butterflies in the genus Junonia, although not all Junonia species are pansies! There are at least 30 species in this genus – and a much larger number of subspecies – … Continue Reading A bunch of pansies!