Brimstone butterfly, female, on ling heather

Brimstone butterfly, female, on ling heather

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Credit: COLIN VARNDELL/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Freshly emerged female brimstone butterfly (Gonepteryx rhamni) at rest on ling heather (Calluna vulgaris). The characteristic shape of the wings give this butterfly, when at rest, the appearance of a leaf. This form of mimicry, known as phytomimosis, helps to protect the butterfly from predators. The male brimstone is lemon yellow and the female is greenish white. The species is found in open countryside, and the caterpillars feed on shrubs of the genus Rhamnus. There is one annual generation, the adults emerging from June onward; these may survive the winter and reappear in the spring. Photographed in July on Morden Bog, Dorset, UK.

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Keywords: 1, animal, animals, antenna, antennae, arthropod, arthropods, biological, biology, botanical, botany, brimstone, brimstone butterfly, britain, british, butterfly, calluna vulgaris, close up, close-up, common heather, entomological, entomology, ericaceous, europe, european, fauna, flora, flower, flowering, flowers, gonepteryx rhamni, insect, insects, invertebrate, invertebrates, leaf, lepidoptera, lepidopteran, lepidopterans, lepidoptery, ling, ling heather, nature, no one, no-one, nobody, one, phytomimosis, plant, plants, shrub, side view, summer, true heather, uk, united kingdom, wild, wildlife, wings closed, zoological, zoology

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