In a classic study, the pioneering Dutch ethologist, Niko Tinbergen, and his students famously studied the courtship behaviour of the Grayling butterfly, Hipparchia (=Satyrus) semele, at Hulshorst – a sandy … Continue Reading Dots in spots: butterfly eyespots II. Tinbergen and the Grayling.
An awful lot of research papers have been published on eyespots, but scientists still differ in their opinions about exactly how they function. They agree that eyespots intimidate or startle predators, … Continue Reading Dots in spots: butterfly eyespots I. Conspicuousness or eye-mimicry?
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?
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.