Monday, July 7, 2014

Fermyn without any shrimp paste (continued)

Following my report on Friday's visit to Fermyn, a couple of people suggested that I might post more photos of the gathering of the three emperors high up in a sallow, so that the story of the squabble might become clearer. So, here are all 12 of the shots including the original photo, apologies if that's a bit too many, but I'm not sure which are the key ones. The overall situation was that there were two Emperors doing a lot of flapping, another came over to investigate and the photos cover the next 50 seconds, spaced every 4 seconds or so in chronological order. Finally two of them flew off in the same direction.

irisscientist - thanks for the photoshopped image to enhance the purple - that's a useful technique that I'll have to remember!

Cheers, Ian


irisscientist said...

Hi Ian,

Many thanks for posting the full series of images, most interesting indeed. I will need to go through these carefully in order to try and string the events together. From first looks the female certainly appears to keep her wings tightly closed during most of the event. I am most surprised however that she never once displayed the classic 'mate refusal posture' (wings open, bent downwards and abdomen raised)? Despite this, neither male successfully managed to get in a suitable position directly behind her applicable for an attempt at copulation. Shame. Many thanks again Ian.

BB said...

Hi Ian
What a great set of images - many thanks for posting.
It certaintly looks that the female keeps her wings tightly shut until image 10 when they open to reveal a couple of notches out of the lhw which might show that she is not that fresh and already mated? I am sure there will be more comments - great stuff
Kind regards

irisscientist said...


From the movements that I am able to ascertain from the image series, the specimen in image10 with 2 notches in the lhw is one of the males. Although admittedly I haven't re-photoshopped that image to check this. The female begins to move in image8 and by image9 she is 'hiding' buried on the central twig. By image10 she has re-emerged and is resting on the leaf with the white blemish, facing away from the camera. Just however my interpretation of the images, others may well have different opinions. Continued regards,


Neil Hulme said...

Hi all,
Although Photoshopping to reveal any available purple hue is useful, the comparative thickness of the white band across the hind wing is sufficient in confidently identifying the sex of each insect in the series (when looked at in sequence - of course occasionally being blurred in the odd frame).
The female insect is 1) lower 2) blurred 3) right 4) right rear 5) right 6) right 7) right 8) right blurred 9) lower 10) lower left 11) lower left 12) left
BWs, Neil