Ringlet (Aphantopus hyperantus) – I have noticed when I have been out in the field this summer that some butterflies are directly reacting to the sound of my camera shutter and quickly taking flight, and so instantly I get a blur of wings on occasion. I thought it perhaps coincidence, but then asked myself this question: Can butterflies hear?
I discovered that one group of butterflies called the Satyrines, also called the ‘browns’, hear with their wings of all things. They have odd swollen veins on their wings, and ears at the base of them which consist of membranes that are stretched taut over oval holes, and that vibrate when incoming sounds hit them. Acoustic research shows they are tuned to low frequencies like the human voice, so if you do talk to the butterflies, you now they are listening to you 🙂
Please double-click image for a closer look.