Callophrys rubi

Posted by Johan Dierckx (Wijnegem, Belgium) on 13 July 2010 in Plant & Nature and Portfolio.

Giving names to species and placing them in a taxonomic tree is sometimes hard to follow ... Callophrys rubi (Green Hairstreak / Groentje) is a butterfly in the family Lycaenidae which is commonly known as the family of the "blues"... but no, you're not color-blind. The upper side of the wings is brown, but is hard to see this. As soon as the butterfly lands, it closes its wings and the beautiful bright green color shows up. There is alse a thin white line, often reduced to a faint row of dots or even missing altogether.
The green color is very hard to get right on a picture. Due to high reflection of the sunlight on the scales, the bright green almost always shows up whitish-green. Crucial is the angle between lens - wing - sun.
This specimen is walking on one of his favorite food plants: Cross-leaved Heath (Erica tetralix) showing the favoured habitat: wet heathlands.

Image: Kalmthout (BE) - 07/07/2010

© 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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Veronique from Sarrouilles, France

extraordinary green colors and I also like its legs position :-)

13 Jul 2010 10:39am

@Veronique: The greens of this butterfly are indeed stunning (and always different with the angle to the sunlight) It's a strange effect seeing these fly. I had some other images with the butterfly on top of the flower right or more te the left, but I prefered this one too for the legs ... Guess we have the same taste on that :-) Thanks again for commenting.

Patricia (✿◠‿◠)❤ from Brecht, Belgium

Johan, zo mooi deze verdient weer een 5*****

13 Jul 2010 2:03pm

@Patricia (✿◠‿◠)❤: Jipieee :-)

daniela scharnowski from Berlin, Germany

wow, what a stunning colour he has!! very well done!
I just feel a bit pity for the sad and thirsty flower here - that crucial angle yolur talking about I just got to know personally on the weekend - not easy at all - and my shots were all rubbish from the butterfly :O

13 Jul 2010 5:17pm

@daniela scharnowski: He, nice you found the same species this weekend :-) Too bad the images aren't as you expected. I think it is hard to imagine how difficult it is to capture this color when you never tried it on this species ... You really have to avoid the reflecting sunlight. Making images when the weather is cloudy can be an option, but then the color is less bright ... It is always a challenge to overcome these kinds of problems...

marc battault from clermont ferrand, France

magnifique ,il semble porter ses ailes ,comme un lourd fardeau ,belle composition !!
5 etoiles ,j'adore !!
amitiés , johan !

13 Jul 2010 9:04pm

@marc battault: Thank you so much again for your kind compliments, Marc. Have a nice evening.

Julie Brown from Indianapolis, United States

Beautiful color and sharp focus. You nailed the exposure.

15 Jul 2010 4:10am

@Julie Brown: I'm learning :-) ... Thx Julie.

Dutçh from Chicagoland, United States

So how accurate was your capture of the green color of the wings then? They look like they have a luminescence on them which is why they probably cause such problems. Lovely though.

25 Jul 2010 9:17pm

@Dutçh: I think the green here is as close as I could get it (about 95% accurate I think). The wings reflect the sunlight and even on cloudy days the reflection of the filtered light makes it difficult.

Canon EOS 400D
1/250 second
ISO 200
150 mm