Saturday, 13 April 2013
Courting Small Tortoiseshells
This afternoon, on a sunny clearing full of sprouting nettles, four Small Tortoiseshells danced around each other. A pair, eventually found themselves on their own and landed on the ground. The male approached the female from behind and started to court her tapping her with his antennae (above). She will normally fly away again and the settling and tapping will continue until she accepts his advances and they mate on a sheltered spot on the ground. The pair of courting tortoiseshells flew away quickly before I could see where they settled. You can watch a video of the courtship of the Small Tortoiseshell here.