A lovely chocolate and yellow butterfly!

The Chocolate albatross (Appias lyncida) is a fairly common butterfly in Asia, which can be found from Sri Lanka to Borneo. There are a number of different subspecies across this vast range. I was very pleased – I am always happy to see a butterfly! – to come across this fine specimen in northern Thailand…

How to build a butterfly!

The upper wing surfaces of butterflies are often brightly coloured and visually highly apparent (above), whilst the undersides are usually fairly dull and inconspicuous (below). Although this characterisation is a gross generalisation – there are plenty of exceptions – these differences between the two wing surfaces, do reflect their contrasting functions: upper surfaces are used…

False heads and fluffy tails!

Conventional wisdom has it that the ‘tails’ seen at the end of the hindwings of many butterflies, particularly lycaenids (the ‘blues’), are serving to mimic antennae, and together with eyespots located on the undersides of the hindwings, create the impression of a head. These ‘false heads’ are therefore, a form of reverse mimicry. They serve…