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"This tastes good!" said the Copper.

Photo Information
Copyright: Tim de Chassaing (leboistoo) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 52 W: 55 N: 56] (156)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-11-23
Categories: Insects
Camera: Pentax Optio 550
Exposure: 1/250 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2006-11-23 11:10
Viewed: 4258
Points: 14
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Lycaena phlaeas - Small copper

A common and widespread little butterfly easily identifiable in the across UK and Europe. The upper side fore wings are a bright orange with a dark outside edge border and with eight or nine black spots. The hind wings are dark with an orange border. Some females also have a row of blue spots inside the orange border and are known as form caeruleopunctata. The undersides are patterned in a similar way but are paler. The black spots on the fore wings are outlined in yellow and the dark colouring is replaced by a pale brownish, grey. The hind wings are the same brown/grey colour with small black dots and a narrow orange border. The larva varies in colour, usually green but sometimes with a purple stripe down the middle of the back and along each side.
In bright sun it is a very active little butterfly with the males setting up small territories which they will defend vigorously against rival males or indeed any unlucky passing insect. Even the shadow of a large bird passing overhead is enough to get him going. Females are pursued mercilessly and mating usually occurs low down in vegetation. It is found in a wide variety range of habitats from chalk down lands, woodland clearings to churchyards and waste ground in cities and can be found almost anywhere in south/central England and Wales although never, it seems, in large numbers. Its distribution becomes patchier in northern England, Scotland and Ireland. It is widespread and common across Europe, Asia and North America, and also found in North Africa. Depending on the habitat Common Sorrel Rumex acetosa and Sheep’s Sorrel are the two main food plants although other Docks Rumex spp are occasionally used. The eggs are laid singly on the underside of food plant leaves and the young larvae feeds on the underside of the leaf creating "windows" by leaving the upper membrane of the leaf untouched. Pupation takes place in the leaf litter and it is thought to be tended by ants. There are between two and three broods a year, less the further north you go. In exceptionally good years a fourth brood sometimes occurs in the south and adults can still be seen flying into November. The butterfly over winters as a larva.

I was amazed to see this little fellow flying in late November! But as it was a little cooler, it was not so active and I was able to get a couple of shots in before it flow off.

The image was framed, resized and sharpened for TN purposes.

Alex99, Maite, horia, greenpinkorange, ramthakur has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To horia: Thank youleboistoo 1 11-26 07:32
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2006-11-23 11:23]

Hi Tim.
Welcome your new and beautiful work. Very nice colours, sharpness and details of the butterfly and flower. Excellent lights and impressive BG. My compliments and TFS.

  • Great 
  • Maite Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 998 W: 65 N: 1270] (5199)
  • [2006-11-23 15:29]

Hello Tim
What a beautiful shot! So nicely achieved in those perfect shades and lightness. Perfectly sharp and with a magnificent POV, bg and composition. Very good job.
Best wishes

Hi dear Tim,
very nice shot. it has good focus and sharp.
it is lovely.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2006-11-26 7:20]
  • [+]

Hi Tim

This is a very beautiful composition you have here! This colorful butterfly looks great agaist that bright yellow of the flower.
I like the POV - you can very nicely see it drinking the nectar from here. Also the DOF is nice, the sharpness is good and the colors are simply lovely. Great management of the esposure, too.
As a sugestion (as i'm sure you're a man that apreciates these) i would clone out the blurred grass that overlaps the tip of its antenna...just a thought :)

Anyway, Bravo and TFS
PS: nice to see oyu back and posting :)

Love your notes.
Your focusing ability is really sharp. Excellent work.
Your subjects, the butterfly & the flower are so very
clear that I feel like touching one & smelling the other.

Very good sharpness and colors on this picture. The colors are not over saturated so they look just right. :) Nice composition and use of space. :)


You have a small but wonderful collection of images here, Tim.
This picture of a Small Copper is very attractive from every point of view.
Best regards.

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