I Can Hear You!


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 🙂


Ringlet Aphantopus hyperantus

Please double-click image for a closer look.


On Rainy Summer Days


Ringlet (Aphantopus hyperantus) – 2020 has been full of strange days so far, and the weather here has been no exception. These past few days have felt like autumn rather than summer, with high winds and cold temperatures, and then we have the rain. I think even the butterflies are baffled. I also need to figure out how to tone down the camera shutter ‘click’, because within a split-second of me taking this image the butterfly took to the air and flew off.


Ringlet Aphantopus hyperantus

Please double-click image for a closer look.


Around In Circles

Ringlet Aphantopus hyperantus
Ringlet (Aphantopus hyperantus)

Thankfully it appears to be quite a good year for these butterflies, with me spotting quite a few out in the local fields.


July 2019, local field, South Staffordshire, England. © Pete Hillman.

Ring A Ringlet

Ringlet Aphantopus hyperantus

It’s very rare I get to see this butterfly with its wings fully open, but with all those beautiful rings seen on the undersides, I am more than appreciative to see them.

Ringlet Aphantopus hyperantus


Ringlet (Aphantopus hyperantus), local field, Staffordshire, England. June 2017.