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…

Which way up to read The Map?

It has been suggested that the Common Map butterfly (Cyrestis thyodamas) – also called the Oriental Map – relies for its survival on resting in an upside-down position (1, 2). Or creating the illusion of facing the other way.  If this is indeed the case, then it is not so much a form of camouflage as…