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Apatura iris

Posted by
Johan Dierckx (Wijnegem, Belgium) on 25 July 2010 in Animal & Insect and Portfolio.

I had some other images in mind for today, but my last butterfly-trip (yesterday ) did change my mind. Totaly unexpected I encountered this female Purple Emperor. I'm so exited about this find (never seen this species before) and its such an elegant species that I decided to make it my 200th aminus image.

Apatura iris (Purple Emperor / Grote weerschijnvlinder) is a butterfly of the Nymphalidae family. It is a very rare and local species in Belgium.

Adults have dark brown wings with white lines and a small orange ring on each of the hindwings. Males have an iridescent purple-blue sheen which the females lack. It is a rather large species: the wings measure between 31 (males) and 40 mm (females).

Both females and males spend most of their lives in the tree canopy (making it rather difficult to spot them) coming down only to lay eggs or to drink from puddles or feed. Unlike most butterflies, the purple emperor does not feed from flowers but instead on the honeydew secreted by aphids and on dung, urine and animal carcasses.

Image: Viroinval (BE) - 24/07/2010

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

© Johan Dierckx

The photos on this site are copyrighted, which prohibits anyone to use them to sell, give away, use in email or newsgroups, use in a homepage or otherwise showing to the public without my explicit, prior, written permission. Please feel free to use the "contact"-button below to contact me with any questions.

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.

(To see species in the same taxonomic rank (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus), please use the tags provided with the image. The last tag is the Iso-code for the country where the image was taken. Image-date in DD/MM/YYYY format.)

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Julie Brown from Indianapolis, United States

Congratulations on getting this butterfly image and for your 200th post! Beautiful wing display and it is an elegant butterfly.

25 Jul 2010 6:16am

@Julie Brown: I was searching for some other species, but was very happy to meet this one for the first time. Hope I can meet a male once, they have beautiful blue color on the upperside of the wings... The flight of this butterfly is vey elegant: just a few movements of the wings and then just fly like an eagle... (without moving the wings)

Catherine from Seoul, South Korea

great pic and choice for your 200th. love the way it's wings look like a fan or fish fins. beautiful ^^

25 Jul 2010 7:16am

@Catherine: Thank you very much, Catherine. The wing display is indeed very great and in Belgium about the most beautiful to be found.

kisskool from Fontainebleau, France

Magnific macro, the details are very good

25 Jul 2010 1:24pm

@kisskool: Thank you very much for your visit and comment.

Florence from Paris, France

Perfect place and attitude for a shot. We can see amazinf details. What a nice model.

25 Jul 2010 3:00pm

@Florence: The underside of the wings is more beautiful then the upperside (for females - the males have a beautiful blue colored upperside). I'm glad she posed for me for some time to get some good images.

Gina from Azores, Portugal

Wow neat macro and great colors

25 Jul 2010 3:05pm

@Gina: Thank you very much for your visit and apreciation, Gina.

Loner from Wörgl, Austria

Sehr schön - ich habe den Großen Schillerfalter nur von der Oberseite gekannt.

25 Jul 2010 7:41pm

@Loner: I've got some images from the upperside too, but this specimen was a female and these are not very attractive colored on the upperside. The males are bright blue reflecting. It was the first time I met this species and I was very impressed by the size.

Mascha from Kootstertille, Netherlands

Gefeliciteerd met je 200e foto!!
De foto is prachtige en de vlinder heel bijzonder, perfecte compositie, erg mooi de schaduw van het pootje!!
5 ***** sterren!!

25 Jul 2010 8:56pm

@Mascha: Dank je hartelijk, Mascha. Ik heb eerlijk gezegd niet op de schaduw gelet tijdens het fotograferen. Wellicht was ik té druk bezig de vlinder er goed op te zetten (focus op het oog, goede compositie, scherptevlak zo parallel mogelijk met de vleugels,belichting balanceren....) Wanneer zulk een vlinder (die ik nog nooit eerder gezien had) dan eens je pad kruist, moet alles zo ongeveer zonder veel nadenken gebeuren... je kent dat gevoel allicht wel :-). Mijn trip was in elk geval al meer dan geslaagd....

Dutçh from Chicagoland, United States

Congrats on 200 superb photos and thank you for all the wonderful information you have shared in regards to orchids and insects! Cheers! Great photo!

25 Jul 2010 9:39pm

@Dutçh: Your welcome, Kristen ! Thanks for viewing, reading, showing interest and giving your honest comments !

marc battault from clermont ferrand, France

une nouvelle fois admirable netteté et piqué des couleurs !
5 etoiles ,pour un spledide papillon !
amitiés !

25 Jul 2010 10:06pm

@marc battault: Thanks again, Marc. Apreciate your comments.

♏arleen from Netherlands

Jij sprong dus een gat in de lucht...kan ik me helemaal voorstellen:-)
Prachtig vastgelegd zo rustend op dit 'bankje'!
Proficiat met je 200e- is echt een bijzondere geworden:-)

26 Jul 2010 12:58pm

@♏arleen: Dat springen was voornamelijk nadien - ik wou dit prachtige exemplaar niet afschrikken :p Mijn dag was sowieso geslaagd .....

Monique from Koh Samui, Thailand

Een prachtig portret om je 200ste mee te vieren en ik hoop dat er nog heel veel van dit soort mooie foto's zullen volgen! Heerlijk gevoel geeft dat naderhand als je ziet wat het resultaat is geworden!

27 Jul 2010 12:02pm

@Monique: Goh ja, ik ben best wel tevreden over mijn portfolio als ik het zo eens in overzicht bekijk. Toch blijft het telkens weer zoeken naar de optimale foto en het is ontzettend leerzaam me te laten inspireren door minstens even gepassioneerde fotografen, ook al vertoeven ze soms in verre, exotische oorden ...

Veronique from Sarrouilles, France

my butterflies never strike pose for me like for you !!!! wonderful shot

28 Jul 2010 8:24am

@Veronique: You have to smile more to them I think... :pppp
I know the problem, Veronique. In past years I had that feeling too, but I discovered that is not the butterfly that has to pose, but the photographer who has to get to the right angle ... Of course you have to act very quick and know how to setup your camera. It needs lots of practice and some knowledge on the behaviour trying predict the next 'move'... good observation helps. Most of my butterfly-images this year are made the last hour before sunset: not only the light is wonderfull at this time, but the butterflies are searching for a sleeping place and are less active. During the day I search for places that are suitable. Good luck !

daniela scharnowski from Berlin, Germany

what really freaks me out is the amount of species you´ve found! This special one a fantastic 200-pics-milestone, congrats on this, dear Johan!
I never even read about this species before - a gorgeous capture!

31 Jul 2010 10:10am

@daniela scharnowski: Thank's very much, Daniela. Comments like yours do keep me going ... (and i'm glad you discovered a new species)

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