When you are out in the garden you never know what miracles you may witness. This week while I was inspecting the vegetables two Hairstreak butterflies landed on the radishes and began their mating ritual. (Luckily, I happen to have my camera with me albeit the wrong lens)
That is not a reflection but a male clasping onto a female.
Butterflies mate facing opposite directions with their abdomens attached.
After butterflies mate the female will have around 100 eggs inside her and a pouch full of male spermatozoa. When she finds the right host plant she can self-fertilize the eggs. The eggs are fertilized only seconds before she lays the egg(s) on the leaf of the host plant thus determining the sex of the butterfly.
Some butterflies lay their eggs individually and spread them out on the host plant(s) while other butterflies lay their eggs in clusters. Each species has their unique method that works best for their survival. Of all the eggs the female lays only 2% successfully become adults.
Male butterflies will mate several times during their short lifetime while females typically mate just once. Hopefully these two will be successful.