Adult Colouration and Camouflage


Some species try to blend into the background, the Graylings (right and below) show this very well, can you spot them? In addition several species of the family Satyridae (Browns) go to the length of angling their wings so as to leave no shadow.

Grayling hiding.

In addition to trying to blend into the background some of the tactics employed by the early stages are also employed. Bright warning colours are often used, sometimes these are to attract a mate, sometimes to indicate a potential unpalatable meal and occasionally to try to mimic another species which is known to be poisonous. Mimicry is more widespread in the tropics than in Europe.

Disruptive and distracting markings are also frequently used. Eyespots or ocelli are frequently employed to distract a potential prey from the important parts of the butterfly.





All pictures in these pages copyright to Simon Coombes. Permission must be sought and obtained for any use.