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Masters of Disguise III

Masters of Disguise III
Photo Information
Copyright: Dmitry Gavryushin (Osmeterium) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 10 W: 0 N: 158] (517)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-01-14
Categories: Insects
Camera: Nikon D70S, Sigma 105mm + Raynox DCR-250
Exposure: f/22, 4 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-01-16 7:03
Viewed: 5497
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 14
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Lesser Purple Emperor, Apatura ilia (Nymphalidae, Apaturinae).

Three caterpillars were found on the bark of an aspen (Populus tremula) at 5 to 7 feet from the ground. The size of this larva is 17 mm. In autumn they change their colour from green with white markings to brownish and overwinter, resuming to feed on young leaves and buds in April. Surprisingly, winter seems to be the best season to find these caterpillars, since they are not easy to see in summer and seldom beaten from trees because of their strong grip on the substrate. I was only able to beat from sallows in autumn some caterpillars of a related species, Apatura iris, but all of those failed to hibernate - maybe I'll have more luck now!...

cataclysta, cicindela, Argus, meyerd, Merlin, JORAPAVI, peter_stoeckl has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To peter_stoeckl: With thanksOsmeterium 1 02-06 05:40
To cicindela: With thanksOsmeterium 1 01-16 11:13
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Dmitry
Great excample of camouflage. Interesting photo and note.
Best wishes

Dear Dmitry!
This is my first time when I comment your picture but I really have to say that your photos are very interesing from the biological point of view! Interesting animals and professional entomological notes!!!
Unfortunatelly I can not find any details about you - are you an entomologist?
Best regards from Lodz,

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-01-16 10:56]

Hello Dmitry,
This is great! I have never seen the larva of this species of butterfly before and the fact that you show it camouflaged in its habitat is a bonus. Sharp and well-composed too!
TFS and best wishes, Ivan

  • Great 
  • meyerd Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 585 W: 64 N: 2238] (7531)
  • [2007-01-16 12:09]

Dear Dmitry,

this is a absolutely wonderful shot you did here: the difficult subject of a perfectly camouflaged caterpillar (it's the illumination well chosen that does the trick, showing those white hairs at the sides) . There are indeed few persons who have ever seen this animal. You offer something wonderful here, thank you.

Greetings from Switzerland, Dietrich

Hi, Dmitry
Almost missed this one! Very well done finding these caterpillars, particularly while hibernating. It looks very much like a slightly hairy Peripatus! Very interesting and unexpected.
Regards, Nigel.

Hola Dmitry,
Interesante y curiosa oruga retratada con buena nitidez y mucho detalle. Gracias por tu instructivo comentario. Un cordial saludo

Hello Dmitry,
very impressing series of camouflage, all the three images you presented. This one is particularly exciting for me as I know the butterfly quite well but would not have expected to see its caterpillars in the mid of winter. You must be a master of observation to discover these perfectly disguised tiny little animals on that tree. Thank you!
Best regards,

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