odd couple

Guy Van de Poel Guy_VdP at t-online.de
Sat Apr 8 17:21:10 EDT 2000

Hi all,

'April macht was er will' say the Germans (April does what it wants), so we
were having the nicest weather the last couple of days. Though there were no
'new' butterflies out yet, the A. urticae and I. io males were everywhere,
on their perches, waiting for females to come by.
But yesterday, while out for a walk, I noticed something I had not seen
While most butterflies I saw were obviously males which showed the normal
behavior of perching, there was one 'odd couple' of A. urticae. I usually
check for which butterfly it is I see, so when I took a closer look at this
one, I noticed it was a pair. And they stayed together, even though my
approach made them fly away three times, they stayed together, sunbathing
after they had landed again.
The weather was nice, on the correct spots there was probably a temperature
of around 20°C, though a cold northern wind cooled everything down.
They got together, each time after they landed, and though neither of them
tried to mate the other, they stayed together. The one closed up onto the
other, so that the tips of his forewings overlapped the other's hindwings,
and so they stayed for several minutes (they had more patience than my
It looked a little bit like an older couple, just enjoying each other's
company. It was the first time I saw this, and never read about this either.
Anybody else ?


Guy Van de Poel
Guy_VdP at t-online.de

Royal Entomological Society of Antwerp

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