Monday, 19 May 2014

Chasing Butterflies

19th May.  None but those deprived of their senses would go in pursuit of butterflies’.  So said the relatives of Lady Glanville (the lady who collected the first specimens of Glanville Fritillary in Linconshire).  The relatives were contesting Lady Glanville's will under the Act of Lunacy.  I’m pleased to say that the courts did not find in their favour.

I could be seen chasing a Green Veined White Butterfly in the garden, or should I say sitting waiting for it to land beside me which it did several times so attracted as it was to the feeding on the Spanish Bluebells.  This species of butterfly can be so easily overlooked and yet when seen closely, like many of the white and yellow butterflies, it is very attractively marked, as I hope the images show.  The images show a female British Green Veined White.  There are many sub-species of this butterfly and three of them can be found in Britain and Ireland.  These are the British Green Veined White sabellicae, The Irish Green Veined White britannica and the Scottish Green Veined White thomsoni.  As well as the three sub species differing in appearance, the presence of different types of scent scales can be used to identify the sub species.  These scale scan only be seen through a microscope.  On the British sub-species there is only one type of scale present where as on the Irish and Scottish sub-species there are at least four, none of which are the same as the one on the British sub-species.

I found this interesting information and a lot more on Wikipedia……………

Recent research has shown that when males mate with a female, they inject methyl salicylate along with their sperm.  The smell of this compound repels other males, thus ensuring the first males paternity of the eggs, a form of chemical mate guarding.  After the female mates, they will display a mate refusal posture that releases methyl salicylate during a subsequent courtship.  The release of this anti-aphrodisiac will quickly terminate courtship.  Males are very sensitive to differences in methyl salicyate levels, and will use this sense to influence mating behaviour.  However a virgin female displaying a very similar posture will release a different chemical which will prolong the courtship ritual.  Males are sensitive to these chemical and postural differences, and can discriminate between a receptive virgin female and an unreceptive mated female.

Males emit a sex pheromone that is perceptible to humans, citra, the basic flavour imparting component of lemon peel oil.

No comments:

Post a Comment