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Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus)
Photo Information
Copyright: Heinz Koloska (wallhalla15) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1767 W: 58 N: 3350] (13829)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-04-02
Categories: Insects
Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50
Exposure: f/3.6, 1/70 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Beautiful Butterflies, Pankaj Bajpai's Favourite [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-04-04 15:22
Viewed: 5074
Points: 40
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

The Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is a well-known North American butterfly. Its wings feature an easily recognizable orange and black pattern. The females have darker veins on their wings, and the males have a spot in the center of each hindwing from which pheromones are released.

Monarchs are especially noted for their lengthy annual migration. They make massive southward migrations from August through October. A northward migration takes place in the spring. Female Monarch butterflies deposit eggs for the next generation during these migrations. The population east of the Rocky Mountains overwinters in Michoacán, Mexico, and the western population overwinters in various sites in central coastal California, United States, notably in Pacific Grove and Santa Cruz. The length of these journeys far exceeds the lifetime of any given butterfly (lives 4 days as egg, 2 weeks as caterpillar, 10 days as chrysalis, and 2-6 weeks as a butterfly). How the species manages to return to the same overwintering spots over a gap of several generations is still subject of a research; the flight patterns are inherited, based on a combination of circadian rhythm and the position of the sun on the sky.[1] This is one of the few insects to manage transatlantic crossings. A few Monarchs turn up in the far southwest of Great Britain in any year when the wind conditions are right

The life cycle of a Monarch butterfly includes a change of form called complete metamorphosis. This process goes through four radically different stages.

First, as mentioned above, the eggs are laid by the females during spring and summer breeding months.

Second, the eggs hatch, revealing worm-like larva, the caterpillars. The caterpillars consume their egg cases, then feed on milkweed, and sequester substances called cardenolides, related to the cardiac glycoside digitalis. During the caterpillar stage, Monarchs store energy in the form of fat and nutrients to carry them through the non-feeding pupa stage.

Third is the pupa, or chrysalis stage. The caterpillar spins a silk pad on a twig, leaf, etc. and hangs from this pad by its last pair of prolegs. It hangs upside down in the shape of a 'J', and then molts, leaving itself encased in an articulated green exoskeleton. At this point, hormonal changes occur, leading to the development of a butterfly.

Hil, nglen, saeedabbasi, manyee, phlr, TAZ, jeanpaul, thor68, Christopher_PL, coasties has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Hil Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 696 W: 13 N: 1407] (5035)
  • [2007-04-04 15:28]

Hi Heinz

Great shot of the Monarch, nicely composed with a great POV and a fine pose, I think the details are excellent with lovely colours too.

TFS Hilary :o)

  • Great 
  • rdfoto Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 372 W: 0 N: 719] (3295)
  • [2007-04-04 16:05]

Bonsoir Heinz
Superbe composition de ce monarche, excellente couleurs, cadrage et netteté, Bravo
Amicalement Robi

  • Great 
  • cloud Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 497 W: 111 N: 1535] (9539)
  • [2007-04-04 16:32]

Very good shot, perfect POV, great colours.
Regards, Pawel

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2007-04-04 16:56]

Hi Heinz, very good close up shot of the butterfly. very good detail with great colour and compostion. well done..

  • Great 
  • Nilson Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 488 W: 0 N: 566] (4423)
  • [2007-04-04 17:21]

ňtima foto de qualidade super boa muito bem focada e de nitidez exelente meus parabéns.

hi hienz,
what a lovely shot, the image is very crisp with good details on the wings, well saturated colours, nice pov, lovely composition, excellent bg, nice framing,
well done,
tfs & regards

Hi dear Heinz ,
really this is excellent shot.
great details and wonderful colours.
BG and sharpness are excellent.
great composed too.
thanks and regards

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2007-04-05 1:56]

Beautiful, this one, Heinz.
Looking at the thumbnail, I thought the butterfly stuck out of the screen in 3-D. Excellent sharpness of details. The colors are gorgeous. I can almost feel the texture of those wings.
TFS. : )

Hi heinz,

A great macro shot , The composition is for sure great with details and POV are also worth speaking of.



  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2007-04-05 7:24]

Hello Heinz,
The Monarch is a lovely species and you caught it well.
The "+++" : composition, subject, pose on the leaf, POV, sharpness, DOF, soft BG, colors, exposure, instructive note...
The "-" : nothing...
Congratulations my friend and TFS.


Great diagonals on this one. they really caught my attention drawing the eye into the wonderful butterfly. Colours adn composition are excellent.


bonjour heinz
eh bien můoi qui croyais que le monarque ne se trouvait qu'en amerique,je suis bleuffer!
excellent cliché,mais comme a chaque fois devrais-je dire!

Hello Heinz,
this is so very beautiful, awesome sharp photo and great colorful butterfly. I really like the diagonal. TFS

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2007-04-05 22:32]

Hi Heinz, sharp and colourful as usual from you. You show off the wing structure perfectly, and colours and details look spot on. Well done

Salut Heinz
Encore une superbe photo que tu nous présentes d'un beau papillon venant de ta collection, belle composition et beau BG ainsi que les couleurs et les détails.
Bravo et merci...JP
Les sourires demain

  • Great 
  • thor68 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 795 W: 138 N: 1319] (5674)
  • [2007-04-07 16:23]

da kann ich nur "wow!" sagen und dir ein wunderschönes osterfest wünschen, heinz! :-)
perfekt erwischt!
viele grüße aus köln, thorsten.

Hi Heinz,

Great shot of the Monarch, nicely composed with a great POV.


Hi again
Very ni ce shot of this butterfly. Nice POV and colours. Thanks


  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2007-04-14 17:22]

Hello Heinz ! It's a wonderful Monarch you shot there. Very sharp, very bright and natural colors. Great composition and great background. Thanks,


Hello Heinz

I can see I am going to have to catch up on some of your posts. This is a lovely image. I like the diagonal placement in the frame. Very clear and sharp. Thank you my friend! :-)

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