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Arctia villica.

Arctia villica.
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter Stoeckl (peter_stoeckl) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1738 W: 291 N: 4005] (11530)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2004-06-10
Categories: Insects
Camera: Minolta Dimage 7Hi
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Moths of Europe 1, Beautiful Moths, Bellas Polillas, Belles Mites... [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-03-18 5:31
Viewed: 4813
Points: 42
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Arctia villica.

Order: Lepidoptera
Suborder: Ditrysia
Superfamily: Noctuoidea
Family: Arctiidae
Subfamiy: Arctiinae

Species: Arctia villica (Linnaeus, 1758)

E - Cream-spot Tiger
D - Schwarzer Bär

This colourful moth can be met locally in dry and warm regions all over Europe in late spring. It prefers to fly around midnight, sometimes it can also be seen flying at daytime. Hairy caterpillars are busily moving around in dry grassland in spring. Disturbed, they curl up with stingy hairs like a hedgehog. Hairs broken off are likely to cause a bad skin irritation. So, hands off.

Food plant: Taraxacum.

The strong colours and markings of that moth shown at any position, even at rest, indicate that it is either dangerous or at least bad in taste to a predator. But if the presented species is poisonous indeed, or if the strong visual signals it sends are just mimicry – pretending to be poisonous, I do not know yet.


Arctiidae is a family of moths with around 11,000 species found all over the world. This family includes the groups commonly known as tigers (which usually have bright colours) and footmen (which are usually much drabber). Some produce foul chemicals. They can be poisonous, or can look just like kinds of moths that are poisonous. Many species have hairy caterpillars which are popularly known as woolly bears. The scientific name refers to this (Gk. αρκτος = a bear). The caterpillars are usually active during the daytime. If disturbed, they will roll into a tight spiral. Colonial superstition has it that the forthcoming weather can be predicted by the amount of black on a woolly bear caterpillar.


The picture was taken in the open and uncultivated grasslands of the ice age sand dunes called “Sandberge” in eastern Lower Austria, near the small village of Oberweiden, during a cool and wet night of June 10, 2004. I was there with a group of wildlife biologists who built up a light trap by beaming a strong halogen spotlight onto an upright mounted spread white canvas sheet. The number of moths and hawkmoths arriving and taking a seat on or near the canvas during two short hours before midnight was amazing. That moth was sitting in the grass in front of the spotlight. With my free hand I could turn the stem with the resting moth into the shown positions.

Camera: Minolta Dimage 7Hi, no tripold, no flash. Halogen spot light of light trap.
To the left: sRGB, 2560x1920, 51mm F/3,5, 1/125 sec., ISO-200, 10.06.2004, 23:19
To the right: sRGB, 2560x1920, 51mm F/3,5, 1/90 sec., ISO-200, 10.06.2004, 23:19
Both pictures were cropped at the left and right borders and mounted together in Photoshop. Minor colour and contrast corrections, bodies sharpened, BG slightly cleaned.

Left picture full size: please look into workshop.

Thank you for looking.
Have a very good weekend.

phlr, loot, red45, scottevers7, cecilia, dew77, wallhalla15, fiyo, SkyF, goutham_ramesh, evanrizo, marhowie, PDP, firelord, Luc, Aramok has marked this note useful
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To wallhalla15: dunkelblauer Hintergrundpeter_stoeckl 1 03-18 16:34
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Critiques [Translate]

Amazing shots, Peter.
Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend.

Hi Peter, I like the Tiger. Only crit I have is the BG. Could have been a little lighter. Overall a good photo. Well done!!

  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2006-03-18 7:53]
  • [2]

Hello Peter
What an interesting collage. The best of both worlds - top & bottom or is it the upside & the downside.
Two well thought out shots creating opposing diagonals on the collage.
Colours are good, DOF provided nice detail on both shots, the dark blue BG looks artificial, but is not disturbing (IMO), and the exposure levels were well managed.
Great work and TFS.
PS. Thanks for the very informative and useful notes supplemented by the additional information supplied in the workshops.

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9100] (31094)
  • [2006-03-18 8:34]

Hi Peter,
Excellent post! Very good pictures with different POVs, both detailed, sharp and colorfull. Interesting note.

Hi Peter,
Great split shot post two show both sides of this beauty. Both are perfect exposures with nice saturated colors and sharp detail. Great notes and a job very well done!

Nice montage,lovely image,very creative work...
Well done...

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2006-03-18 12:06]

Hello Peter!
Wonderful post.Both frame is crisp clear and
well composed.Colors,details and framing are
excellent.Have a great weekend!TFS...:-)

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2006-03-18 13:53]

Good idea, well done Peter. Sharp, well exposed. Great captures. Thanks.


Hallo Peter,
hier zeigst Du uns aber einen Leckerbissen. Den "Schwarzen Bär" von beiden Seiten! Toll! Leider kommt dieser schöne Bärenspinner nur vereinzelt nördlich der Alpen vor. Den Schönbär hatte ich letztes Jahr fotografiert - leider ist das Foto unscharf geworden. - Auf jeden Fall zeigst Du uns hier eine erstklassige Arbeit incl. einer sehr guten Bemerkung. Zum Foto gibt es technisch nicht zu meckern - super! Frage nur: wie kommst Du zu diesen schönen dunkelblauen Hintergrund?
Danke für diese erstklassige Presentation.

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2006-03-19 2:10]

Very interesting presentation, Peter. : )
Both sides of the moth are shown with sharp details and good light.
The colors and markings are very fetching. TFS. : )

Hi Peter

Nice work. Well composed. Excellent POV with clear sharp details. Nice saturation of colour and I love the presentation. :-)

  • Great 
  • phlr Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1237 W: 130 N: 882] (2821)
  • [2006-03-19 4:59]

Excellent composition Peter!
We can see very well both sides!
Very good photos of this beautiful moth!
Very creative with two diferent POV's
Keep on going and TFS!

Hallo Peter,
Rundumansicht, das ist wunderbar.
Das ist ein wunderschöner Bär, auch diesen hier konnte ich bislang nur auf Bildern wie Deinen beiden tollen bewundern.
Unglaublich wie viele Farben hier zu sehen sind. Ich freue mich so sehr auf den Frühling und hoffe viel Zeit zu finden für die Schönheiten unserer Natur.
Lieben Gruß
Sabine - wishnugaruda

  • Great 
  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2006-03-19 10:51]

Hello Peter,
Excellent macro.
Lovely detail and colours,nice composition.
Nice work,very well done.
Thanks Peter, best regards.

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2006-03-19 10:56]

Hallo Peter,
super hast du das gemacht, da kann man mal so schoen die beiden Seiten vergleichen. Prima Schaerfe und interesannte Details. Ein herrliches Lehrbild.

What a superb Collage showing diffrent perspective
Excellent Composition, colors and DOF , Good POV
Goutham R

Hello Peter,
Very interesting post. Tiger moths are great. I have some pictures of them, but I never seen this species here. The pictures are good technically and nicely show the most importand details of this species.

Sehr interessante aufnahmen und good combiniert.

  • Great 
  • RII Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 481 W: 0 N: 895] (2862)
  • [2006-03-22 2:50]

Hi Peter.
Excellent ilustrative presentation, nice colors and composition, good photo.


Hi Peter,
Very nice job with this two-sided presentation. The uniform BG works well. The color, light and details are very good.
Beautiful moth & very well done!

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2006-03-24 20:01]

HI Peter, good shot(s) that's a very cooperative model you have, letting you get both views! Lovley colours and good composiitons. Well done.

  • Great 
  • Aramok Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 896 W: 101 N: 1501] (5166)
  • [2006-05-20 12:47]

What a great shot showing both views of this moth. I too find that BG a little off putting, but not too much and the moth itself conteracts that superbly.



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