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 … Continue Reading A courtship duet: Drosophila melanogaster
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 … Continue Reading Love is a carousel: courting Marsh fritillaries!
Capturing animal behaviour in a photograph (or even a video) is never easy. The wonderful natural history programmes we see on television, have often taken the film-makers months, if not … Continue Reading Capturing butterfly behaviour in the field
I have come across these Argiope orb-web spiders, a number of times, with their characteristic woven crosses on their webs. These ones photographed in northern Thailand, are either the Multi-coloured … Continue Reading Argiope cross-weaving spiders; stabilmenta and tiny males
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 … Continue Reading Courting brimstones: wing walking
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 … Continue Reading Courtship bowing in meadow browns
Females butterflies are usually a lot more choosy than males. They produce eggs, and have more resources invested in each one; compared to the millions of tiny sperms that males … Continue Reading Butterfly love and the perils of mating!
When I first saw this pair of Wood white butterflies in Spain, I did not realise that they were mating, i.e. in copula, as they were at right angles to each … Continue Reading Courtship and Mating in Wood Whites
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
There is a huge diversity of different courtship behaviour in butterflies, but one feature appears to be universal: female butterflies ‘almost never fly towards males to mate’ (Scott, 1973). In … Continue Reading Lang’s Short-tailed Blue: courtship behaviour
These nine images, which appear here in temporal sequence (from top to bottom), show a male Iberian Marbled White (Melanargia lachesis) butterfly flying around a female. I am not sure exactly … Continue Reading Iberian Marbled White – courtship sequence
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