Hamadryas amphinome - the Red Cracker
15x10x6cm (Black, landscape framed)
Hamadryas amphinome is an unusual butterfly in that the males (such as this one) have the ability to produce a cracking noise which sounds similar to the noise a locust makes - like sunflower seeds in a frying pan perhaps. Difficult to describe. One report speculates that the reason they do this is to warn off other males from their territory, bursting into flight with a series of cracks and then chasing the competition away, but practically in the same breath it goes on to say that the noise facilitates the formation of social communities when other butterflies hear the sound. Sound production is probably involved in finding mates, while aerial chases may be used in the establishment of a dominance hierarchy among male Hamadryas.
They are most often spotted resting head-down on the trunks of trees, and flitting down to the ground where they feast on decomposing fruit.