Female orange tip has no orange tips

Out on my usual birdspotting walk with the dog (if that’s not an oxymoron). Lots of willow warblers around singing to the skies, skylarks in the skies, singing, and some flighty balls of feathers of which I didn’t quite catch sight until I got my big zoom pointed at them. One turned out to be a male linnet in full blush, t’others were meadow pipits perching to watch for predators and photographers.

Then there were the butterflies…lots of what I assumed were small whites (Pieris rapae) but when I got home and viewed the shots on my desktop screen one of them seemed to have a William Morris print on the underwing. I posted it on Facebook and asked if anyone could ID it. AlphaGalileo’s Peter Green was quick to point out that it is actually a female orange tip butterfly (Anthocharis cardamines), which as you can see from this big zoom shot that I’ve cropped quite tightly doesn’t have orange tips to it’s wings unlike the male orange tip butterfly pictured on my 500px page. Sexual dimorphism it is called when the male looks very different or has other characteristics not seen in the female. I should’ve guessed, there were several females around but there was a male in the same locale…presumably with the birds and the bees on their minds.

Astonishing creature that I hope my 600mm zoom and crop does some justice to, look at her proboscis feeding on nectar from that blossom. And, look at that William Morris print…they should call it the Arts & Crafts butterfly.

Author: bob投注平台

Award-winning freelance science writer, author of Deceived Wisdom. Sharp-shooting photographer and wannabe rockstar.