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Aglais urticae

Posted by
Johan Dierckx (Wijnegem, Belgium) on 7 July 2010 in Animal & Insect and Portfolio.

Aglais urticae (Small Tortoiseshell / Kleine vos) is a well-known colourful Nymphalidae butterfly. The upper side of the wings is striking, with red and yellow and a row of blue dots around the rear edge (too bad the blue is not in the color-scheme). The undersides of the wings are dull, which helps to conceal stationary or hibernating individuals. When threatened however, resting individuals rapidly open their wings, presenting the dramatic display of colors to frighten away young or inexperienced birds.

Image: Ripsdorf (DE) - 02/07/2010

Canon EOS 400D 1/125 second F/5.6 ISO 200 150 mm

© Johan Dierckx

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All species are photographed in their natural habitat, without cutting or capturing them, and with maximal respect and the least possible disturbance to the environment.

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♏arleen from Doesburg, Netherlands

Deze (nee, een familielid;-) heb ik vastgelegd op de lavendel....
Fraaie opname met mooie DOF.

7 Jul 2010 8:42am

@♏arleen: Kan me voorstellen dat het op lavendel nog een mooier kleurschema geeft. Lavendel is een echte honingbar voor vlinders. Lavendel in je tuin en vlindertjes verzekerd :-). Dank je alweer voor je commentaar, Marleen.

Julie Brown from Indianapolis, United States

Nice color with the flower and background. I like the focus on the antennae. Did you get a shot of the ventral wings?

7 Jul 2010 5:31pm

@Julie Brown: Do jou mean the underside of the wings ? Yes i have but that is hardly coloured. Very dark and grey... Totaly oposite from the upper side. Thanks again for commenting, Julie.

daniela scharnowski from Berlin, Germany

what a warm summer shot!
Love the unuasual orange and lilac combination, and the angle is superbly chosen!

7 Jul 2010 10:12pm

@daniela scharnowski: Warm it was ... Friday last week - the warmest day of summer so far ...
As for the angle: I just tried not to scare this 25th specimen away like the previous 24 ... :-) Realy difficult to get close to these :-)

Dutçh from Chicagoland, United States

This is just a visually stimulating photo. I think your composition is good, the colors are just amazing.. I think if it was possible [because I am not good at bugs, I don't know] I would have tried tightening it to maybe f/8 so that the body and part of the wing wouldn't have blurred. It could have been moving too and done that. Overall though.. because dof is interperative, I have to say a 5. I just like it.

7 Jul 2010 10:33pm

@Dutçh: I made this one handheld ... so 1/125 is in fact already over the limit with a 150mm to get steady shots. (As a rule* I take for handheld shots the time not less then 1/lens mm to get steady images.) *rule based on personal experience. This image was taken in sunset-light. I love the colour of the light at that time, but the intensity is less, so shooting-times drop... (And I"m a fan of low f-numbers anyway ;-) ). Today I went shooting some other butterfly- and dragonfly- species. Light was much more intense so I used higher f-numbers also. Maybe (I'm sure) you'll notice when I show some images later on this week :-)
Most of the desicions regarding f-number or time-preset have to be done realy quick in the field when shooting these flyers... Most of the time I make a "preset" on a flower or something in the neighbourhoud before attempting to get close to the butterfly (or dragonfly) so i can concentrate on focussing (I almost never use AF because I want to have the eye in focus and AF limits the composition then ...). Maybe these tips can help a little when trying ...

Monique from Koh Samui, Thailand

Altijd prettig als ze met gespreide vleugeltjes gaan zitten, want zie zijn zo veel kleurrijker dan de onderkant. Prachtig dat randje van blauwe vlekjes en ze had een mooi bedje uitgezocht. Mooie compositie en scherpte op het wipneusje ;)

8 Jul 2010 4:50am

@Monique: Dank je Monique. Een foto van de onderkant van de vleugels zou inderdaad een heel erg saai kleurenschema opleveren :-) Ik probeer steeds foto's te maken van beide vleugelkanten om de determinatie nadien op foto te vergemakkelijken. Vaak heb je dan boven en onderkant nodig om alle details te kunnen bestuderen. Ik ben nog maar een klein jaartje bezig met vlindertjes dus het is nog wat zoeken naar goede composities en dergelijke. Vorige zomer wat experimentjes, dit seizoen proberen er wat meer van te maken en op zoek te gaan naar enkele bijzondere soorten. Het moeilijkste blijft het scherpstellen op de ogen ....

Canon EOS 400D
1/125 second
ISO 200
150 mm