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The Emperor’s Brother.

The Emperor’s Brother.
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: 2005-06-24
Categories: Insects
Camera: Minolta Dimage 7Hi
Exposure: f/4, 1/180 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): European Butterflies 2 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-03-12 9:26
Viewed: 4617
Points: 44
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Emperor’s Brother.

Apatura ilia (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775).

Lesser Purple Emperor,
Kleiner Schillerfalter,
Liten Skimmerfjäril,
Le Petit Mars,
Tornada chica,

Family: Nymphalidae

Wing span: 65 - 70 mm.

Orange bordered eye spots on the upper sides of forewings are the best indicator to tell this species at a first glance from the Purple Emperor, Apatura iris L., as presented some days ago:


Both species show similar appearance and behaviour, the males claiming and defending a territory of their own, never sucking nectar from flowers, but drinking water from wet spots on the ground, and fondly sucking from decaying substances.

The areas of distribution also widely coincide. Both species can be met from Japan through the temperate zones of central Asia into Europe. Apatura ilia does not go up as high into the mountains (usually no more than to 800m) or as far north. Ilia is quite common but local in southern central and eastern Europe, and very local in Portugal and Spain. It is not reported at all from the UK, Denmark, the Netherlands, northern Germany, the Baltic States, Scandinavia. But it can be seen in southern France and in Italy, where Iris is missing.

To the south of its distribution, two generations can be observed: May / June, and August / September. North of the Alps, there is usually only one generation in June / July.

Ilia caterpillars feed on Populus tremulae L. and Populus nigra L.

The picture was taken between the dining tables in the garden of a little inn at the edge of the river forests of the Danube to the east of Vienna, near the village of Stopfenreuth. Camera: Minolta Dimage 7Hi, 2560x1920 pixels, sRGB, 51mm, f/4, 1/180sec., ISO-100, 24.06.2005, 15:43. No tripod, no flash.

By the way: Some twenty years ago many of use spent a number of days in mid winter squatting in front of trees in that forest, facing an armada of timber workers, bulldozers and policemen. Government had decided to clear the whole forest to make room for a giant power plant. After a number of days in the cold, and some riots, we succeeded. Now the place is the centre of the splendid new Austrian National Park “Donau-March-Thaya-Auen”, a wild genuine landscape scenery covered with lush, almost subtropical vegetation, home for endangered plants and animals - and mosquito resistant people with a camera, like you and me.

Thank you for looking. Have a very good day.

P.S.: Quite frequently, in the woods near Vienna a variation can be seen with white bands turning ochre, and the iridescence on them turning into a reddish purple: Apatura ilia "clythie". Please have a look into workshop.

carper, wkshelton, goutham_ramesh, SkyF, phlr, pgmoni, wallhalla15, petrudamsa, ramthakur, wishnugaruda, Robbrown, red45, sandpiper2, fiyo, Merlin, emmari, coasties, MacroMundo, firelord has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To akruger: larger f/stoppeter_stoeckl 1 03-17 04:19
To Merlin: Thank you, Nigel.peter_stoeckl 2 03-13 18:03
To sandpiper2: Thanks, Chris.peter_stoeckl 1 03-13 06:32
To petrudamsa: Apatura femalespeter_stoeckl 1 03-12 12:46
To petrudamsa: Apatura femalespeter_stoeckl 1 03-12 12:45
To petrudamsa: sexual dimorphismpeter_stoeckl 1 03-12 12:40
To goutham_ramesh: stone overexposed, workshoppeter_stoeckl 1 03-12 11:25
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Critiques [Translate]

thank you Peter,
It's a nice examplar, the composition is nice, not spectaculair, it's not good in pov on the left wing and thats a shame, farther very good job with a good note, well done Peter.
gr. jaap

I love this photo, the shadow and the coulor are great. Thanks for sharing.

Hi Peter,

Very Interesting note!!!
Good picture , with colors (blue hue on the wings!!) I like it :-)
Excellent capture, but i think the stone below the butterfly is overexposed, did a quick workshop to correct it , will post it, let me know what you think

Goutham R

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2006-03-12 10:36]

Hallo Peter,
eine imposante Schaerfe die du hier vorlegst, die Details und Farben sind herrlich. Auch gefaellt mir der Schatten im Bild. Prima Bildaufbau.
Gruss Sky

  • Great 
  • phlr Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1237 W: 130 N: 882] (2821)
  • [2006-03-12 10:51]

So beautiful Peter!
Very rare in Portugal.
Very beautiful on colours!
Very good POV!
I like the shadow of the buttefly on the rock!

  • Great 
  • pgmoni Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 343 W: 100 N: 637] (2769)
  • [2006-03-12 11:30]

Superb image on an excellent BG. The colors are wonderful, which is not obvious for this type of butterfly.
Only one small nit, the area out of focus on the left wing.
Great job

Hallo Peter,
ich kann immmer nur staunen und Dich auch beneiden welche schöne Schmetterlinge bei Euch herumschwirren!!! Hier hat man in Sachen Umwelt wohl viel mehr gesündigt!! :-(
Sehr schönes Foto vom kleiner Schillerfalter. Auch er sitzt wieder zum Wärme tanken auf der Erde! Sehr gute Schärfe, natürliche Farben und ein schöner Bildaufbau. Deine Anmerkung zum Falter ist super. Danke für diese sehr schöne Presentation. Ich wünsche Dir noch einen schönen Restsonntag.

The cousin looks as beautiful as the emperor. It is more common that A. iris around here. As I know, there is also a bit of sexual dimorphism in this specie, as only the males have the blue iridization (not so strong like in A. iris) meanwhile the females are just plain brown. I'm not very sure of this. Please correct me if you are more informed in this matter.

Regards, Petru

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

Hello peter!
Wonderful close up.Colors,details sharpness and framing are

Very impressive capture, Peter. The wing's shadow on the BG adds a positive dimension to the picture. The exhaustive not is a goldmine of information.
Thanks for sharing.

Very beautiful photo. Details,colors and composition are super...TFS.Hilmi

Hallo Peter,
da würde ich viel d'rum geben auch mal so einen blau schillernden Schmetterling sehen zu dürfen. Wie Samt, genial.
Vielen Dank, ich wünsch' Dir eine guten Wochenstart
Sabine - wishnugaruda

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2006-03-12 16:44]

Hi Peter!

Beautifull butterfly, lovely details and blue colours on its wings. Perfect and very interesting note. I saw this kind of butterfly only once in my life.

Good sharpness on the butterfly's far wing and body. Pity you couldn't get enogh DOf to include the forewing. The rosck is slightly OE, which I think you should have corrected before posting.

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2006-03-13 9:44]

Very nice buitterfly Peter, it's sharp and clear. Good note too. Thanks.


  • Great 
  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2006-03-13 9:52]

Hello Peter,amazing close up; sharpness, colors, light, composition, everything is excellent !

Thank you, Peter - another new species to me - and you manage to collect it while visiting an Inn! Very challenging ;) The clythie form is particularly beautiful - thanks for showing it.
Regards, Nigel.

  • Great 
  • chiliu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1457 W: 0 N: 1176] (6526)
  • [2006-03-13 13:45]

Hi Peter,
Excellent capture of this beautiful butterfly,
very good sharpness and details,
nice colours and well composition.
Thanks for sharing!

It's not easy to capture the blue reflects of this species. You did it here and it's already a great performance.
Very nice picture.

Hi Peter

Lovely shot. Very well composed. Good depth of colour. Well done. TFS.

Hi Peter, Another better than good photo. Only comment is the left wings' focus is a bit soft. A larger f/stop could have done the trick. I always try to get the subject of a macro totally in focus unless it is the eyes or mouth etc, that I want to show. Still very good on technicalities.

Hi peter! How are you?
Nice colors, I like blue color of wings.
you have make a good job.

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