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Icaro on Medicago.

Icaro on Medicago.
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: 2008-06-20
Categories: Insects
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC-H5
Exposure: f/4, 1/320 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Vienna Woods - Biosphaerenpark Wienerwald [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-12-14 12:35
Viewed: 5649
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 46
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Icaro on Medicago.

Polyommatus icarus (Rottemburg, 1775)

Common Blue
Gemeiner Bläuling, Hauhechel-Bläuling
Almindelig Blåfugl
Vanlig blåvinge
Modraszek ikar
Modráčik obyčajný
Modrásek jehlicový
Dos Puntos
Argus bleu

Family: Lycaenidae

Wingspan : 28 – 32mm

The morning was turning into a hot day. The grass was high that year, and the heath was in full blossom on top of Eichkogel, an isolated scrubby hill a few miles south of Vienna. A fresh breeze was whirling some rapidly flying blue butterflies around the place.

Many times in the past when I was thinking of having pictured some less common blue such as Polyommatus dorylas, P. argus, P. semiargus, P. thersites, P. bellargus, or even Aricia agestis, the pictures in the end turned out to show the common P. icarus. Now the same happened to me this time when I thought to have captured Amanda's Blue (Plebicula amanda): The Common Blue, again.

Very adaptive, and therefore very successful and common, the Common Blue is wide spread in practically all kinds of habitats all over Europe, northern Africa, and temperate Asia, with the exception of Ireland, and some mediterranean islands. Quite variable in size, markings and colours, there are a variety of local races depending on climate and type of habitat.

In cooler climates of northern countries and high elevations up to 2900m in Europe, there is just one generation in June and July, while in southern England, Central and Southern Europe there are 2 – 3 generations from March to November. Icarus caterpillars feed on Fabaceae such as Lotus corniculatus and Medicago lupulina. They are also living in symbiosis with ants (Lasius niger, Formica subrufa, etc.) to finish their development, and for a good place to get over the winter.

As with many other Lycaenids, sexes look really different and may be mistaken for members of different species. The one sitting on a Medicago lupulina blossom is a male.

The Female.


Tom Tolman, Richard Lewington: Die Tagfalter Europas und Nordwestafrikas, Stuttgart 1998.

C. Jonko: European Butterflies. http://www.lepidoptera.pl

The location:

A limestone hill emerging from the eastern Austrian lowlands of the Vienna basin, at an elevation of 350 meters.


SONY DSC-H5, 3072 x 2304 pixel, sRGB, 18mm macro-zoom setting (equiv. 110mm at conventional 35mm SLR), F/4, 1/320 sec., ISO-125; -0.3 bias, no tripod, no flash; 20.06.2008, 09:51.


Photoshop Elements, slightly cropped, downsized to the web, selectively resharpened, levels slightly adjusted.

As with many members of the Lycenide family, a documentation of that butterfly's underside of wings should be necessary to confirm the identification:

> Wings closed.

Thank you for looking.
Have a very good day.

Ivan (Argus): Thank you for your expert advice regarding the identification.

JoseMiguel, siggi, meyerd, maurydv, mjaniceanne, gracious, Alex99, Juyona, red45, eng55, sandpiper2, anel, Miss_Piggy, uleko, phlr, Argus, loot, jconceicao, marhowie has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To loot: ... a myriad of pleasurespeter_stoeckl 1 12-21 12:54
To Argus: ... amanda?peter_stoeckl 1 12-20 06:34
To Juyona: Amanda beautiful woman's name ...peter_stoeckl 1 12-19 06:29
To uleko: ... start of a new seriespeter_stoeckl 1 12-19 05:31
To Miss_Piggy: Thank you, Anna.peter_stoeckl 1 12-19 05:26
To anel: Merci!peter_stoeckl 1 12-19 05:23
To Alex99: ... details of the insect hairpeter_stoeckl 1 12-19 05:04
To gracious: Thank you, Tony.peter_stoeckl 1 12-19 04:58
To meyerd: ... Zeiss Optikpeter_stoeckl 1 12-19 04:10
To meyerd: ... Zeiss Optikpeter_stoeckl 1 12-19 04:07
To JoseMiguel: new photopeter_stoeckl 1 12-19 03:53
To wishnugaruda: ... scharfer Bläulingpeter_stoeckl 1 12-19 03:50
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Peter,
das ist wundervoll - ich hab' noch nie einen solch scharfen Bläuling gesehen, meist reflektiert das Blau und verwischt das Motiv, aber Deiner ist erstklassig.
Ein tolles Arrangement mit super Farben, gefällt mir sehr gut, herzlichen Dank und lieben Gruß
Sabine - wishnugaruda

Hi Peter,
So good to see a new photo from you.
It's so pleasant when a total understanding is showed like in your pictures.
The right size of the subject for the right proportion of the composition...
Impeccable focus and exposure settings.
It's so beauty and enjoyable all the fine details got here.
My compliments and thanks for share.
Best regards,

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2008-12-14 13:08]

Hello Peter,
What a stunning shot of the beaiutiful Plebicula amanda.
Excellent details on the Butterfly, with a great DOF and OOF BG.
I really like the vibrant colours and the light is lovely.
Best regards Siggi

Lieber Peter,

die Bläulinge stellen hohe Ansprüche an den Photographen aber du wirst dem herrlichen Falter voll gerecht. Was ich von dieser Aufnahme mitnehme: der Falter ist für mich neu. Dein Sony Apparat (ich nehme an mit Zeiss Optik) leistet Ungeahntes. Ich brauche genau eine solche Kamera für meine nächste Fahrradreise.

Herzlich grüsst Dich

Ciao Peter,
meravigliosa cattura di questo bellissimo Licenide, eccellenti POV, DOF e composizione con la splendida posa, straordinaria la definizione con dettagli fantastici, magnifici i colori.

An amazing photo of a butterfly that is very hard to photograph! They are same family as our Azure butterflies, aren't they? Very tiny and hard to approach and they seldom open their wings. Wonderful work!

Hello my dear old friend Peter,
Delighted to see your wonderful posting after a while!
Your beautiful butterfly image I always fond of!
this is another great one with the best pose in wonderful colouration and superb details
wishing you a happy festive season

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-12-14 21:40]
  • [+]

Hi, Peter, dear friend.
I am very glad to watch your new picture of splendid butterfly. As usual you have reproduced all its beauty amazingly. Superb sharpness and details of the insect hair and colouration. POV is great and allows us to see all attractive features of the butterfly. I also like wonderful nicely smoothed BG and excellent composition of the image at whole. My kind regards and TFS. All the best to you and your family.

Hola Peter,
nice macro,
Amanda beautiful woman's name,
framing and fine focus,
bg beautiful,
** I hope the winter is not too harsh :)
saludos amigo.

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2008-12-15 0:25]

Hi Peter!

Very colorfull and sunny picture of Modraszek. Razor sharp details, great POV and excellent BG. As always your note is very interesting. Great reminder of summer time.

Hello Peter,

Splendid capture of this blue. Very good composition. Excellent POV, DOF and sharpness. Wonderful colours.

  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2008-12-15 1:02]

Hi Peter,
Lovely close up.I liked POV,colors,blurred BG,details,framing and composition a lot.
Thanks for posting.

Hi Peter

Good to see you again, this is a beautiful species and you have captured him perfectly. Amazing sharpness, colour, composition, DOf and pose. Great work.


  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2008-12-15 4:52]
  • [+]

Lieber Peter,
Grosse Freude wieder ein Bild von Dir zu sehen! Fast hätte ich es verpasst, kommst Du immer so leise in den späten Abendstunden..
Unzweifelhaft ein Stoeckl-Bild, könnte von niemand anderem stammen. Reizend ist sie, die "Amanda", von einem fast überiridschen Blau und dazu noch mit einer so grossen Selbstverständlichkeit ihre Schönheit zeigend.
Warte jetzt auf die "andere" Flügelseite, die Du uns versprochen hast.
Hab herzlichen Dank und herzliche Grüsse

Hallo Peter
Good to see a posting from you after so long.
You deserve each of your points over and over. You are an excellent photographer with lots of talent. Wonderful capture of this beautiful butterfly. I like the "powdery" blue effect on the wings. As usual a flawless presentation with superb sharpness. Truly precise in every aspect, with excellent framework. I appreciated looking at this beauty. You are a master at work and I always enjoy looking at your images.
Kind regards

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-12-15 5:04]
  • [+]

Hello Peter,
I'm very glad to see a post from you again - we were wondering if you'd left us for good!! I expect your teaching load is heavy and I gather last summer was not the best in Austria. Even so I hope this is the start of a new series from your end and it is a lovely image to enjoy in the darkness of winter!
Excellent macro showing very sharp details and lovely colours!
Many thanks and best wishes, Ulla

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-12-15 7:21]

Hello Peter,
What a fantastic sharp detailed and clear photo of this Wikkeblauwtje. The contrasting colours are amazingly beautiful. Very good composition and OOF BG. Great work!

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-12-17 14:26]

Hi Peter,
a top-class shot of this beautiful butterfly!
Exceptional clarity and detail.
Very well composed.
Perfect DOF.

Very well done,

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-12-19 6:44]
  • [+]

Hello Peter,
A stunning macro of a male Polyommatus (Plebicula?) species taken with fine sharpness and DOF considering the low aperture that also provided a great BG.
Excellent POV in this open-wing capture and the composition is very pleasing.
I know this species well and if this is amanda then it must be an unusual form with very narrow black border to the wings and no black going on to the veins near the border. Perhaps the alpine form looks more like icarus.
Whatever, this is a joy to look at an a fine reminder of summer.
Nice to see you back on TN!
Best wishes,

  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2008-12-19 22:36]
  • [+]

Hi Peter

A wonderful (and recently rare) surprise visit from you. We truly miss you around the site MF and hopefully 2009 would present you with more opportunities to treat us with your special brand of Peter Stoeckl magic.

As customary from you a vibrant and brilliantly captured macro with amazing details of the subject. The POV is a classic. The attractive natural colours are remarkably pleasing to the eyes. The OOF green-and-yellowish BG is outstandingly complimentary and it makes the dazzling blue Amanda stands out like a very sore thumb (with other words there is no chance of missing or ignoring it). The composition is great as it makes excellent use of space and distribution forming 2 triangles on the image – one inclusive of the insect and the other without.

Well done MF and TFS.

PS. More importantly; I want to thank you for your wonderful friendship and all that you have meant for me this past 2008. Also, I want to wish you and your loved ones a joyous Christmas and a wonderful New Year. May this Christ-fest and the imminent 2009 bring you everything that is beautiful and admirable, provide all your needs with blissful exuberance, present you with that which is edifying and inspiring, grant you blessed peace and harmony, and bestow upon you a myriad of worthwhile pleasures and breathtaking moments with close friends and dear family.

Hello Peter,

Excellent photo.
Nice colours with fantastic details.
Light and definition are splendid.
Good composition.
I liked the notes.

Hi Peter,
Again a wonderful frame filled with vibrant natural color..
The blue & yellow looks grand.
Excellent details & comp, the POV of the inner wings is just perfect :)
Happy New Year!

Ciao Peter, lovely common blue with fantastic color, superb details and splendid sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

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