Papilio machaon

Posted by Johan Dierckx (Wijnegem, Belgium) on 17 August 2010 in Animal & Insect and Portfolio.

Papilio machaon (Koninginnenpage (BE) / Old World Swallowtail (EN) / Schwalbenschwanz (DE) / Machaon (FR) ) is a butterfly of the family Papilionidae. This striking butterfly is yellow with black wing and vein markings and with a wingspan of 8 to 10 cm it is the largest butterfly to be found in Belgium. The hind wings of both sexes have a pair of protruding tails which give the butterfly its common name from the resemblance to the birds of the same name. Just below each tail is a red eye spot.
Despite it's common name it is not restricted to the "Old World" but occurs throughout the Palearctic region in Europe, Asia and across North America.
In Belgium the species was formerly widespread but today it is near threatened, most observed in the south of the country.
I showed the beautiful colored caterpillar on 26 july and 27 july.

Image: Bassenge (BE) - 09/08/2010

© 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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Christine from Duns, United Kingdom

A butterfly very worthy of it's caterpillar, It is so beautiful it almost looks unreal, a fantastic shot.

17 Aug 2010 6:43am

@Christine: Both butterfly and caterpillar are among the most beautiful in Belgium. I think they can be seen in UK too. Hope you get the oportunity - they are realy impressive ! Have a nice day, Christine.

Veronique from Sarrouilles, France

!!!! perfect

17 Aug 2010 7:25am

@Veronique: Thanks again, Veronique. It is a very beautiful specimen to see in flight or while drinking nectar on a tiny flower.

Florence from Paris, France

How lucky you are to catch wonderful specimen ! Such a close-up ! Colors all harmoniously fit together, wonderful DOF.

17 Aug 2010 7:53am

@Florence: I think it is not only luck... I live in the immmediate neighborhood of Antwerp, an area with not much nature left there. To find these species I have to travel lots of km's. I carefully plan my trips and study on the specimen's habitat and behaviour before I leave home. With that knowledge it is much easyer to find the desired specimen ... I focus on only a few species for one trip and most of the time i'm able to find them (due to preparation). So most of my images aren't "lucky encounters" during "just" a walk. (but sometimes i'm lucky to find a species which I did not expect to see that trip :-D ). Thanks again for the enthousiast comment, Florence.

Hoom@n from Tehran, Iran

nice super super macro ,, great !

17 Aug 2010 9:04am

@Hoom@n: Thank you very much for your visit and comment. I'm glad you like this one.

Don Levesque from New Brunswick, Canada

Your insect shots are fabulous! Great composition and beautiful colours!

17 Aug 2010 3:18pm

@Don Levesque: Thank you very much for your visit and generous comment !

Stefan from Thiersee, Austria

Wow, fantastic macro shot!

17 Aug 2010 9:02pm

@Stefan: Thank you very much, Stefan. I visited your portfolio - seen some magnificent landcape images there. I will return in the future to see some more there !

Becky from los angeles, United States

a perfect image. phenomenal.

17 Aug 2010 9:02pm

@Becky: Thank you very much, Becky. I think this is the most beautiful butterfly that can be seen in Belgium so i'm glad my images turned out to be ok.

Julie from Le Cannet des Maures, France

Un très beau specimen

18 Aug 2010 5:53am

@Julie: It is indeed, Julie. Thanks for passing by again.

Dutçh from Chicagoland, United States

A real pretty face on this one.

19 Aug 2010 12:32am

@Dutçh: ...but no banded antennae :-D One can't have it all in life ... Warm greets, Kristen.

Dutçh from Chicagoland, United States

It was a fair trade, greets ;)

19 Aug 2010 11:19pm

@Dutçh: :-)

Julie Brown from Indianapolis, United States

The abdomens are quite large, aren't they? The swallowtails have been abundant where I live this summer. I believe it is due to the excessive heat and humidity we have experienced.

20 Aug 2010 10:04am

@Julie Brown: They indeed are large. In Belgium swallowtails are rather scarse. I only saw about 5 this year ... not very much...

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

animalia
arthropoda
insecta
lepidoptera
papilionidae
papilio
be