THESE remarkable close-up pictures show two beautiful butterflies mating on a forget-me-not in the spring sunshine.
Wildlife photographer Andrew Fusek Peters shot the remarkable photos in the Shropshire countryside using a staggering 3,200 frames a second.
He first snapped the exact moment an orange-tipped butterfly took off from a forget-me-not growing on the verge of a country lane near his home.
Yesterday he returned and was amazed when he captured a male and female mating on the same flower.
Andrew, 54, of Lydbury North, Shropshire, said: ‘I was just astounded to get them mating.
‘This is a first for me so I was quite excited to say the least.
‘I was hoping for more pictures of them in flight but then I couldn’t believe it when a male and female settled down together.
‘It is quite a rare sight, they are very small butterflies and are hard to spot with their wings closed.
‘As they mate you can only see a hint of orange in the male.
‘They seem to be around in abundance this year, I don’t know if that is due to the lockdown and we are noticing them more.
‘They are quite a flighty species and usually very shy. It’s amazing to manage to capture them on camera as they usually just fly away.
‘I spent around half an hour on our daily walk waiting by the verges of forget-me-nots on a lane near to our house.
‘I would usually spend hours at a time waiting for this shot, but in the current circumstances I am obviously restricted for time outdoors.
‘So I was really lucky to catch them when I did.
‘I feel very blessed to have such beauty nearby. I’m finding extraordinary things I really realised were on my doorstep.
‘I just try and focus on a flower and wait for them to take off. I’ve practised for months to perfect the technique because it all happens in an instant.’