Unusual Behaviour

millerd
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Unusual Behaviour

Postby millerd » Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:09 pm

This is my first attempt at uploading a link to a video - I hope it works!

http://youtu.be/_n50knSoses

These appear to be two male Chalkhill Blues. One is hassling the other quite vigorously, apparently in a futile attempt to mate. The accosted one looks freshly emerged - is this what may be causing the other to react in this way?

I'm afraid a stray Adonis Blue distracted me in the middle...

Dave

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Paul Wetton
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Re: Unusual Behaviour

Postby Paul Wetton » Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:07 am

Hi Dave

Definitely strange behaviour but not sure it's attempting to mate as I didn't see any curling of the abdomen but you may have seen more than what was filmed. It could be the scent of a freshly emerged individual causing this reaction.

If you want to upload video directly to the page from YouTube follow the instructions on the FAQs but make sure you use the long link for embedding given by YouTube and not the short one as it doesn't work on this site.

Hope to see some more video.
Cheers Paul
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Nick Broomer
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Re: Unusual Behaviour

Postby Nick Broomer » Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:24 pm

Hi Dave,

I agree with Paul that it could be the scent of a newly emerged male that causes this behaviour. I have seen this on a few occasions, mainly Chalkhill Blues, but on one occasion Orange tips,and i believe the male of these two species hunts down the female for mating by sense of smell. So this confuses the male into thinking he has found a female, when infact he has found another butterfly of the same sex, [poor fellow].

Nick.

Susie
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Re: Unusual Behaviour

Postby Susie » Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:00 pm

I've seen this lots with blues. As I've said before and others have said above, I think it is the scent of a newly emerged butterfly that the males zone in on. Perhaps something in the pupal fluid. Also I imagine that these newly emerged males haven't had a chance to smell all stinky and male yet by emitting their own pheromones :lol:

Nice little video Dave! :D
Last edited by Susie on Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Neil Hulme
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Re: Unusual Behaviour

Postby Neil Hulme » Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:22 pm

Hi Dave,

Yes, your amorous male Chalkhill Blue is, in a state of confusion, trying to mate with the other male CHB. You can see him desperately bending his abdomen around in the sequence before you pan to the Adonis Blue, in an unsuccessful attempt to clasp onto the other, freshly emerged male.

As previously pointed out by Susie and others, this confusion is commonplace in some species. In basic terms there is a male 'smell', a female 'smell' and the 'smell' of a freshly emerged butterfly. The former is usually transmitted as modified (androconial) scales and the latter two are emitted as liquids. The scent of a freshly emerged butterfly acts as a very strong draw to a male, not least because this presents a significant chance (up to 50:50 in some species) of connecting with a virgin female - the acheivement of his main goal in life :D . Barking up the wrong tree for a few minutes is a small price to pay for this potentially once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

'Smells' can lead to same-sex interest in other scenarios. When a female Purple Emperor is being tailed by a string of males, the air can become thick with the heady 'smell' of Emperor. Sometimes this can cause so much confusion that one or more of the males will 'fix' onto another, allowing the potential prize to escape his advances. I've seen an Empress land in a state of bewilderment as three males decided to have their own love-in in the canopy of the adjacent tree. Eventually one wised up and got the job done.

Neil

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Jack Harrison
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Re: Unusual Behaviour

Postby Jack Harrison » Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:23 pm

The older male probably belonged to discredited religious organisation :cry:

Jack

millerd
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Re: Unusual Behaviour

Postby millerd » Thu Jan 19, 2012 9:16 pm

Thank you all for your fascinating info about this. It was the first time I'd seen anything like it (I thought at the time that I'd have a stab at a video of what seemed to be a courting pair - and then I noticed they were both male...). Having an Adonis Blue settle under my nose at the same time was a bit distracting, hence the diversion to it! You can see it fly off in disgust when I returned to the curious activities of its cousins. I was amazed at how agitated the accosting ChB was - its unwanted attention really became quite violent towards the end.

Dave


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