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Purple Emperor


Purple Emperor
Photo Information
Copyright: john vantighem (john1) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 122 W: 0 N: 439] (3410)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2015-07-14
Categories: Insects
Camera: Sony Alpha DSLR 350, Sigma APO DG 70-300 1:4-5.6 Macro, Sandisk Ultra II 4Gb
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2015-07-20 8:45
Viewed: 1128
Points: 0
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Purple Emperor is a magnificent and elusive insect that is actively sought out by the many subjects of "His Majesty", as the male butterfly is affectionately known. This butterfly spends most of its time in the woodland canopy where it feeds on aphid honeydew, with the occasional close encounter when it comes down to feed on sap runs or, in the case of the male, animal droppings, carrion or moist ground that provide much-needed salts and minerals. Those that make pilgrimages to see this spectacular creature will often try and lure the males down from the canopy using all manner of temptations - including banana skins and shrimp paste.


The male butterfly is one of the most beautiful of all of the butterflies found in the British Isles. From certain angles it appears to have black wings intersected with white bands. However, when the wings are at a certain angle to the sun, the most beautiful purple sheen is displayed, a result of light being refracted from the structures of the wing scales. The female, on the other hand, is a deep brown and does not possess the purple sheen found in the male.


This is one of the most-widely studied and written about butterflies in the British Isles. The classic work "Notes and Views of the Purple Emperor" by Heslop, Hyde and Stockley is dedicated to this butterfly, as is the modern-day equivalent - the excellent website The Purple Empire. This butterfly is confined to deciduous woodland in central southern England, between South Wiltshire and South Hampshire in the west, Surrey and West Sussex in the east, and Oxfordshire and Hertfordshire in the north, with scattered colonies elsewhere. It is not found in the north of England, Scotland, Ireland, the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands and has not been seen in Wales since the 1930s. Colonies vary in size, some being very small with just a dozen or so adults forming a viable colony.


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Critiques [Translate]

Hi John,
Although this pic already had 565 views before I clicked on to it, remained uncritiqued, and I can guess why. I shouldn't like to be impolite with you, but nothing's good on this pic (maybe except for the colors of the left wing). Wrong camera angle, blurred subject (there isn't even one sharp point on the purple emperor), strong background noise to name the most conspicuous errors. I truly hope you don't treat my comment as a personal attack, but this photo is not good at all.
Best regards from Ireland, László

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