The Mating Game
A pair of Dark-Green Fritillaries (Argynnis aglaja) seen mating this morning up on the Sussex Wildlife Trust's Southerham Farm Reserve on the South Downs above Lewes. We saw this pair make a couple of flights together before settling long enough on this Thistle for me to photograph them.
Not long before, we had seen this Chafer-like beetle (see today's 'Extra') land on a Hawthorn bush up on one of the higher parts of the adjoining Mount Caburn National Nature Reserve. As it had landed face-in to the bush, I gently pulled back the twig on which it had settled to help me identify it by taking a look at its front end. (The beetle seemed entirely undisturbed by the process.) We think it might be a species of Amphimallon, possibly Amphimallon fallenii (Gyllenhal, 1817), which thrives on regularly grazed Downland in southern Britain, but we are open to suggestions from any of you out there who might have a clearer idea of exactly what this beetle is.
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