I was intrigued today (8/08/2013) observing a male Speckled Wood butterfly - having persued a female; cornered her; where nose-to-nose he continually flicked his wings seemingly encouraging courtship. He turned and endeavoured to conjoin his backend on to hers. But, she was having nothing of it and lay down on her side as if 'playing dead'. Whereupon, after a brief tarry he flew away. When a female butterfly says "No" she means it and he knows it!
Nice observation. I too have seen this behaviour in female Speckled Woods.
I echo Michael's comment, except that I have not seen this behaviour.
Very nice to have it captured photographically.
With years of 'looking' I have observed a Speckled Woods' charming gambling in sunlit woodland groves where they flit, dance and have-a-go at other butterflies or small fly-born invertebrates that dare encroach into his staked-out sun-patch they decide alone to own. And, the way they spiral pirouetting hither and thither with a rival Speckled Wood sometimes out of sight above the canopy is a delight to see. And, they return sooner or later to their sunny domain full of shadows which are owned by more secretive invertebrates that prefer dark, damp, hideaway earthy homes. The female Speckled Wood in question continued to lay on her side after her suitor had departed. Only, up and fluttering away when I placed my camera too close to her embarrassment.
She was feigning dead because of her extreme embarrassment at having your camera lens watching all the action :-)