Sunday, August 08, 2010
you may wonder why we have posted two blurry pictures but if you look closely you can just pick out two blurry orange blobs. These are male and female silver washed fritillary butterflies caught during their courtship dance. I have read about this, but today I saw it for myself for the first time. The male barrel rolls around the female while she flies along in a relatively straight line. If she is suitably impressed she lands and he releases pheromones from the linear scales on his fore-wings, and if she remains impressed they mate. It was so soul satisfying to see this private little ritual.