Tag Archives: Brimstone

A white and a yellow butterfly on a bush

Brimstones. Photo: Shona Refoy

Shona was delighted to get this shot of a female Brimstone refusing to mate with the male, as it was her first ever shot of a stationery female Brimstone upperwing. Taken at Badbury Rings on 10/05/2019.

When a female butterfly has already mated, she will refuse further male advances: she needs to get on with laying her eggs, which she will do on the bush in the photograph, which is a buckthorn. She shows her refusal by having her wings open and raising up her abdomen, often with the genitalia extruded.

view of a Male Brimstone showing partially open wings

Brimstone. Photo: Shona Refoy

Shona sent us this photo of a male Brimstone which she took at Badbury Rings on 24/03/19.

She tells us:

I have been trying to get some photos of a Brimstone upperwing, which has resulted in a lot of photos of flowers without butterflies!

Perseverance paid off as Shona managed a good shot showing the often unseen orange spots on the upper hind-wings.

view of a Brimstone nectaring on a dandelion

Brimstone. Photo: Mark Pike

Mark sent us this photo of a Brimstone from Motcombe Meadows  which he took on 14/04/18.

This is a species which over winters as an adult, and can be seen on the wing on warm winter’s days when it comes out of hibernation.

Most Brimstones that survive the winter will end their life cycle in Midsummer when new young Brimstones can be seen.