Whilst I was taking photographs of these beautiful Brimstone butterflies (Gonepteryx rhamni) nectaring on the little pink flower-pots of Bell heather (Erica cinerea), I noticed that they stopped when a … Continue Reading Brimstones in the sun: thermoregulation
It has been suggested that the Common Map butterfly (Cyrestis thyodamas) – also called the Oriental Map – relies for its survival on resting in an upside-down position (1, 2). Or … Continue Reading Which way up to read The Map?
Red Admirals love apples! Or more precisely, they like rotten apples and other wind-fallen or over-ripe fruit which has sat on the ground for a while and started to rot … Continue Reading Tasting with your feet! Butterfly tarsi.
Last October (2017) I had the pleasure of spending a few days in a delightful bungalow at Malee’e Nature Lovers Bungalows; a delightful resort, nestled under shadow of Doi Chiang Dao, Thailand’s … Continue Reading Denizens of the dappled forest: butterflies
When I first came across this large spider, I wondered what it was doing with a piece of old leaf. Large Nephila spiders like this produce large asymmetric orb webs on … Continue Reading Leaf butterfly: caught in the net!
Last summer I made a number of visits to the Hotel Semáforo de Bares, an attractive location in NW Spain, with panoramic views over the sea and Cape Bares (Cabo … Continue Reading Swallowtails in Galicia: Subspecies and generations
Asian hornets (Vespa velutina Lepeletier, 1836) are an invasive species from China which have recently become very abundant in Galicia in Spain – as well as elsewhere in Europe – as I … Continue Reading Asian hornets fighting over an apple
The great Dutch biologist Niko Tinbergen, first described the highly stereotypic courtship behaviour of the Grayling, Hipparchia semele (Linnaeus 1758), a butterfly which was common on a dune area in the … Continue Reading Rock (and roll!) Grayling
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
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.
‘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
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
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
The Common Earl (Tanaecia julii), as the name suggests, is a relatively common butterfly with a wide distribution, including India, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, China, West Malaysia and Sumatra. It is … Continue Reading The Common Earl, a butterfly with green eyes!