Flies and flowers

Bees get a lot of good press these days, especially for their role as pollinators. And let’s face it, they deserve it! Hard working, unassuming, attractive and useful! They are almost supplanting those poster boys and girls of the insect world: butterflies! But what about flies? Their press is a mixed bag. To some people…

Small, brown and moving north!

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 agestis) butterflies in Bedfordshire on 13 Aug 2019. In 1993, the Brown Argus was described as a scarce or local species, which had declined by…

Courting brimstones: wing walking

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 brimstones (Gonepteryx rhamni) in NW Spain (Galicia). There are relatively few accounts of courtship in this species; however, Adrian Hoskins – informative as ever –…

Which way up to read The Map?

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 creating the illusion of facing the other way.  If this is indeed the case, then it is not so much a form of camouflage as…

Denizens of the dappled forest: butterflies

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 third highest mountain (2,175 m). The attraction of this temporary abode was that it overlooked a little wood, beside a stream (below). A quiet place where…