Bonking burnets!

The small male, Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet moth (Zygaena lonicerae), did not seem to mind being dragged around by the much larger female as she nectared on thistle flowers whilst they remained in copula! Burnet moths (Zygaena spp.) can remain in copula for considerable periods of time, up to 24 hours according to HofmAnn and Kia-Hofmann…

Green marsh hawks mating

Many people will be familiar with the sight of dragonflies (and damselflies) ‘in tandem’, without knowing exactly what is going on! I came across a pair of mating green marsh hawks in northern Thailand (Huai Hong Khrai Royal Development Study Centre) and managed to get a few shots of them hanging on to a grass…

Mating Gatekeepers

It is not unusual to come across mating butterflies, although sometimes copulation takes place well away from where they normally feed or defend territories: for example, in the tree tops or deep in the undergrowth. Mating is risky; copulating pairs are usually relatively inactive and therefore vulnerable to attack by predators. The scientific term for…

Tigers mating

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 subspecies comprising what is called a ‘species complex’. This is a name given to a group of insects by taxonomists when they don’t really know,…