All the information about butterflies is full of marvels – the many stages of being an egg to chrysalis.. larvae and pupae… to finally emerge as a butterfly. Wow! Really astonishing set of physical transformations. But the info pages all seem to skirt over the delicate matter of the sex lives of butterflies. Which makes me think again of our conversation at the allotment yesterday: are they making love or fighting? Who can tell?!
Maybe a documentary film won’t be able to shy from the facts. And luckily there’s a new movie all about butterflies – and now published free to view online during coronavirus. So, if you, like me, are curious about the workings of butterfly reproduction, why not settle comfortably and watch the documentary?
Life Cycles of British & Irish Butterflies – the Movie! – by Peter Eeles
Ok – so I was wrong! I’ve now watched the show, in which I learned a lot about butterflies generally, but nothing at all about the sex life of butterflies. The first passing mention of ‘mating’ comes in the 34th minute of the presentation, but the focus here is elsewhere. The only other mention of ‘sex’ is some comments about ideas about how to identify the sex of butterflies in pupa stages..
Overall Peter Eeles’ video is a great watch to get an understanding of the complexity of life cycles of butterflies, how they camouflage themselves in all their life cycle states, and protect themselves by nocturnal feeding. But if – like me – you’re interested in the sex lives of butterflies, you’ll need to look elsewhere.