Janet and I spent this morning watching the wonderfully named ‘silver-washed fritillaries’.
Here comes one:
She’s a female.
She’s drinking nectar on a blackberry bush
This is what she looks like underneath and why they are called ‘silver-washed’. They are Britain’s largest fritillary and seem to be having a great year.
Here she is again, fluttering her wings to attract a male.
…….and here he comes:
You can tell he’s a male because of the four black stripes on his forewings. These are sex brands. When he finds a female they go on a lovely nuptial flight together flying over and under each other.
Then they land together and circling around her he tries to touch her antennae to his sex brands to arouse her further.
Here he seems about to succeed … or could they be heading for a … butterfly kiss?
We hope he was successful and that they had wonderful sex – for another generation of these awesome insects.
The hot orange joy of them quite took our breath away.