Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Dukes and Brimstone courtship

Duke of Burgundy, Hamearis lucina
Yesterday morning a visit to a local Duke of Burgundy site failed to find any, but an afternoon visit to Kithurst Meadow provided two fresh Duke of Burgundy butterflies, a Dingy Skipper, a Burnet Companion, Green-veined Whites and a Peacock.  Two male Brimstones were trying to persuade a female to succumb to their charms. Bluebells and Early Purple Orchids were in flower and the meadow is covered with cowslips. Neil and young Mia joined me and we watched a Duke resting on the grass until it flew up to roost in the trees at around 3:45pm.
Bluebell, Hyacinthoides non-scripta
Brimstone courtship with 2 males, Gonepteryx rhamni
female Brimstone receiving attention from two males

Ray Cannon has published an interesting article about "wing walking" behaviour: https://rcannon992.com/2019/07/31/courting-brimstones-wing-walking/

Brimstone roosting under leaf - well camouflaged
Bugle, Ajuga reptans
Burnet Companion, Euclidia glyphica
Dingy Skipper, Erynnis tages
Duke of Burgundy, Hamearis lucina
Duke of Burgundy, Hamearis lucina
Early Purple Orchid, Orchis mascula
a Nomad bee, possibly Nomada flava
There are over 25 species of cuckoo bees in the UK. They are cleptoprasites of Andrena bees in whose nests they lay their eggs. Their larvae kill the eggs and larva of the host bee and eat their pollen stores. Thanks to Jamie for the id.
mushroom - id needed!
Green-veined White, Pieris napi on Bugle
Green-veined White, Pieris napi


  1. Very nice sequence of courting brimstones. I referred to your entry in my blog!

    1. thanks Ray, that is a very interesting article.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.


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