Males butterflies in the family Lycaenidae, the so-called Blues, typically have brightly coloured, iridescent colours on the upper (dorsal) surfaces of their wings. Vivid blue iridescence such as this on the … Continue Reading Bright iridescent patches are honest signals!
Migrant Red Admirals Vanessa atalanta (L.), usually arrive in the UK during May and June each year. Like the closely related butterfly, The Painted Lady, Vanessa cardui (L.), these migrations of Red admirals originate from … Continue Reading Red Admirals – European migrants
The Plain Tiger, Danaus chrysippus (Linnaeus, 1758), is a butterfly with an enormous distribution – from West Africa to New Zealand (1, 2). There are a large number of different forms or … Continue Reading Tigers mating
The Longbanded Silverline (Spindasis lohita), Family Lycaenidae, is a beautiful insect with a remarkable structure – a tail, or ‘false head’ – at the end of its hind wing. There is … Continue Reading Bluff and deception in Blues
I spent some time observing and photographing Painted Jezebel (Delias hyparete indica) butterflies feeding and courting on Bougainvillea flowers in Thailand. These beautiful and very common butterflies are often seen flitting … Continue Reading Courting Jezebels
It is rather ironic that this little butterfly, which was named by a 19th Century British entomologist, does not occur in the UK! Weaver’s fritillary (Boloria dia) occurs throughout mainland … Continue Reading Weaver’s Fritillary
The Cleopatra is not a butterfly we see in the UK although a few individuals have occasionally appeared in southern England, perhaps as a result of hitch-hiking on a passing … Continue Reading Beautiful Cleopatra
A little butterfly skipping from flower to flower in the late afternoon sunshine. Enjoying little sips of nectar. Seemingly oblivious to the cares of this world. Yet there lurks a … Continue Reading Watch out little butterfly!
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.