Lang’s Short-tailed Blue: courtship behaviour

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 other words, male butterflies nearly always initiate courtship. For example, in the common blue butterfly (Polyommatus icarus) this involves a display of fluttering wings –…

Blues on the heath!

The hills and mountains of of Galicia in north-west Spain are covered in heather and gorse which flower from late summer into autumn.  The heather and gorse are alive with insects (and spiders!) including an array of small blues.  When I visited Galicia in early October, the heather was still flowering and butterflies were still…