Small Heath Butterfly
Despite its name, the Small Heath Butterfly is not confined to heathland and can be found in a wide variety of habitats. This charming little butterfly always settles with its wings closed, where the eyespot on the underside of the forewing is usually visible, acting as a decoy to any predator. The forewings are tucked behind the hind wings when roosting for long periods, or in dull weather. Males set up territories where they can be found perching, although they also spend time patrolling in search of a mate. When a male encounters another, the pair fly a few meters up into the air before separating. Females will also zigzag over the vegetation in search of a mate. Mating may happen at any time of day and a mating pair may remain coupled from as little as 10 minutes up to 5 hours. Mated females tend to avoid male territories, flying over sparse grassland where they lay their eggs. Both sexes feed on a variety of nectar sources.