07.05.2022 “I’m available”

Cabbage White butterflies-Pieris rapae are mostly in constant motion. But they do alight on flowers at times and as I was checking out our milkweed in the front yard I noticed this female land on one of our geraniums. As I watched she displayed her willingness to mate and that attracted a male who fluttered non-stop around her.

This lasted for a few moments and then, for whatever reason, he left her.  Although he was gone she still presented for a few moments before taking off again.

Do butterflies feel frustration? Possibly since their main function is to create future generations as well as pollinate.

Had they decided to mate this is how they accomplish that.

Shoulda, woulda, coulda done a video but this only lasted a short time and I don’t think that quickly. Here’s a video of the behavior.



About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Closeup Photography, Fauna, Insect Behavior, Lepidoptera, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to 07.05.2022 “I’m available”

  1. susurrus says:

    I have never noticed that behaviour. Funny what we miss.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. shoreacres says:

    I’ve seen butterflies mating, but never the ‘come hither-ing’ behavior. Courtship and mating rituals are so interesting, and so varied, even among the smallest creatures.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This was a surprise for me also, Linda. I thought pheromones did all the heavy lifting of insect mating but some, I guess, take it to another level. Of course there are other factors such as signs that one individual may be more fit and therefore better suited to pass along strong genetic traits.


  3. You raise a good question: how far up the chain of development in the animal kingdom do we have to go to find something as abstract as frustration?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Eliza Waters says:

    Interesting, I’ve never noticed a female doing that before. I usually only see the circular dancing they do up in the air. Perhaps rival males?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Peter Klopp says:

    I sometimes wonder whether butterflies enjoy visiting flowers to pollinate them, or is it just the nutrients they are after? Great shots, Steve.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Peter. Pollination is a strategy of the flowers, attracting pollinators to do the work of a new generation. The butterflies get the reward of nutrition in the process.


  6. They do fly really fast. Good catch!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Very nice images Steve!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Todd Henson says:

    Very nice. I love being there to capture interesting behaviors, so I’m glad you were. It’s possible I’ve seen two together but I’m pretty sure I’ve not seen the moments before hand.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This was my first time seeing this behavior. Like you I have seen them fluttering about each other but not offering herself up like this. Obviously others have and there are a few videos of this on YouTube.


  9. bluebrightly says:

    Wow, what a scene. I like the blurred wings. Hey, it doesn’t always work smoothly. Like everything else, takes time.

    Liked by 1 person

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