Silver-washed fritillaries

Janet and I spent this morning watching the wonderfully named ‘silver-washed fritillaries’.

Here comes one:

IMG_2952She’s a female.

IMG_2968She’s drinking nectar on a blackberry bush

IMG_2963This 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.

IMG_2951Here she is again, fluttering her wings to attract a male.

…….and here he comes:

IMG_2955You 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.

IMG_2970Then they land together and circling around her he tries to touch her antennae to his sex brands to arouse her further.

IMG_2971Here 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.


7 thoughts on “Silver-washed fritillaries

  1. Beautiful photos of beautiful butterflies ! We don’t have those here in Florida, we have the Gulf Fritillary, smaller and more orange color, but I have many of them in our yard, Monarchs & Swallowtails too as I plant the host plants as well as the nectar plants. Happy watching 🙂

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