Temporal and sequential aspects of the courtship of the small sulphur butterfly, Eurema lisa, are described quantitatively from motion picture film and videotape recordings of interactions between males and perched, virgin females in outdoor cages. Successful courtship (ending in copulation) is divided into eight distinct behavioural events, is sequentially highly stereotyped, and lasts only a few seconds. Examination of unsuccessful courtship reveals features required if copulation is to occur. Field observations of induced and naturally occurring interactions point out that the courtship has no prolonged aerial components and that ascending flights occur between males and mated females only. The discussion focuses on the relationships between the mating behaviour, colour patterns, and ecology of butterflies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Animal Science and Zoology