Silver-washed fritillary courtship behaviour

The courtship behaviour of the silver-washed fritillary, Argynnis paphia (Heliconiinae, Argynnini), is described in most books or websites about butterflies. Here’s how I described it in my book on Courtship and mating in butterflies. The male …. performs a unique pursuit flight, swooping down beneath the female, then darting up in front of her, until…

A courtship duet: Drosophila melanogaster

  In this blog, I have delved into the voluminous research on the common fruit fly, or vinegar fly, Drosophila melanogaster, and tried to produce a readable, hopefully entertaining, fly-level perspective, of their courtship behaviour. I am not an expert on this species, but I have immersed myself in the literature whilst researching a book…

Love is a carousel: courting Marsh fritillaries!

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 when contrasted against the bright pink colour of a flower. The beautiful appearance of butterflies is, I think, even more attractive when we discover something…

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 –…

Courtship bowing in meadow browns

Meadow brown (Maniola jurtina) butterflies, must, I think, be one of the most common and widespread butterflies in Europe. I am surprised therefore, not to be able to find any photographs of courtship behaviour in this species. The excellent UK Butterflies website states that: “Courtship between male and female is brief. The male showers the…