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An old guy

An old guy
Photo Information
Copyright: Oana Otilia Saracutu (oanaotilia) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 529 W: 28 N: 964] (3416)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-08-16
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon EOS 400D, Canon EF 100 mm F2.8 Macro USM
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/1250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2010-10-15 10:41
Viewed: 2978
Points: 20
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Papilio machaon -old world swallowtail
The Old World Swallowtail, Papilio machaon, is a butterfly of the family Papilionidae. The butterfly is also known as the Common Yellow Swallowtail or simply the Swallowtail (a common name applied to all members of the family). It is the type species of the genus Papilio and occurs throughout the Palearctic region in Europe and Asia; it also occurs across North America, and thus, is not restricted to the Old World, despite the common name.
This butterfly is present throughout the entire Palearctic region, ranging from Russia to China and Japan, (including the Himalayas and Taiwan), and across into Alaska, Canada, and the United States.

In Asia it is reported as far south as Saudi Arabia, Oman, the high mountains of Yemen, and Israel as well. In Southern Asia it occurs in Pakistan and Kashmir, Northern India, (Sikkim, to Assam and Arunachal Pradesh) Nepal, Bhutan, and northern Myanmar.

This butterfly is widespread in Europe. In the United Kingdom it is limited to a few areas in the Norfolk Broads of East Anglia. It is the UK's largest resident butterfly. The Monarch Danaus plexippus is slightly larger, but is only a rare vagrant.

As P. machaon is widespread throughout Eurasia and often common, it is not threatened as a species. It is listed as "Vulnerable" in the South Korean and Austrian Red Data Books, and also in the Red Data Book of the former Soviet Union.

In some countries, P. machaon or its subspecies are protected by law. Papilio machaon machaon is protected by law in six provinces of Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Moldova. The species is protected in the United Kingdom, and subsp. verityi is protected in India.

The butterfly has a strong and fast flight, but frequently pauses to hover over flowering herbs and sip nectar. It frequents the alpine meadows and hillsides and is fond of 'hilltopping' – congregating near summits to compete for passing females. At lower elevations it can also be seen visiting gardens.

Unlike other swallowtails, this species specialises in using plants of family Umbelliferae, females laying eggs singly. Milk Parsley Peucedanum palustre (also known as Marsh Hog's Fennel) is normally the only food plant used by the caterpillars of the British subspecies. The food plants of the Swallowtail in Europe, Asia, and North America are more varied than in the UK. It uses a wide variety of umbellifers including wild carrot Daucus carota, wild angelica Angelica sylvestris, fennel Foeniculum vulgare, and hogweeds Heracleum spp. In the Maltese Islands, the caterpillar feeds on plants such as rue Ruta chalepensis and fennel Foeniculum vulgare.

In Kashmir, the Common Yellow Swallowtail, as Papilio machaon is called there, inhabits alpine meadows in the Himalayas occurring from 2,000 feet (610 m) in Kashmir valley to 16,000 ft (4,900 m) in the Garhwal Himalayas. In India Himachal Pradesh, it is found over 4,000 ft (1,200 m) only and in Sikkim over 8,000 ft (2,400 m) only.

At lower elevations these butterflies fly from March to September. At higher elevations the butterflies are limited by the short summer seasons.

The British subspecies P. m. brittanicus is less mobile than its European continental counterpart and stays within, or close by, its fenland habitat.

I took this image in Neamt County, near Agapia Monastery, this summer on a plateu in the mountains that surronds the monastery. An interesting fact is that this summer was the second time when I saw this species, first time beeing 10 years ago, when I was in a study trip with the faculy. I hope that will not pass another 10 years untill I will see again this species.

manaswi27, Heaven, Dis. Ac., uleko, siggi, marius-secan, anel, Hormon_Manyer has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

hello oana
beautiful shot
good macro with nice sharpness and details

  • Great 
  • zetu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 26 N: 3888] (16941)
  • [2010-10-15 10:57]

Buna Oana
Super! O captura de nota 10. Culori naturale , subiect in focus bine incadrat. Felicitari!
Numai bine si mai asteptam si altele

  • Great 
  • Heaven Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 996 W: 123 N: 2341] (7912)
  • [2010-10-15 12:43]

Dear Oana!

This butterfly is widespread, this is true, but the encounter with it out in the nature always is a particular moment for me. First, because it's such a beautiful butterfly, and second, because it remembers me my childhood and the frequent moments spent in the mountains or in the forest with my father. The only name of a butterfly I knew by heart before I iscovered TN is the Swallowtail, because it is associated with my father teaching my its name.

Thank you so much for these moments spent in mind with my father through this magnificent picture.

Kind regards


Hello Oana,

it's a long time ago, great close up shot from this beautiful butterfly.
Good of sharpness and pov, details and dof.
Fine natural colours.


  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2010-10-15 23:13]

Hello Oana,
A lovely capture of this Swallowtail showing that the end of summer is near! Great sharpness, beautiful natural colours and a fine natural background. We don't see this species very often here in S. Sweden either! It is so beautiful!
TFS and have a nice weekend, Ulla

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2010-10-15 23:52]

Hello Oana,
Very well presented butterfly. Excellent POV and sharpness. Very good reproduction of the wing texture. Very good light and natural colours.Congratulation for your Papilio Machaon.Best regards Siggi

Buna Oana,
Felicitari pentru aceasta captura deosebita. Bine incadrata, cu focus uniform si detalii foarte bune. Un weekend placut. (PS. am constatat ca acum la sfarsit de sezon fluturii nu mai au aceleasi culori stralucitoare ca la inceputul verii iar multi au aripile rupte sau franjurate)
Numai bine!

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2010-10-16 6:15]

Hello Oana,
Swallowtails are always beautiful, even if they are already a little bit worn, like on your picture. "Il a de beaux restes" , like we say in French.
Very fine colors and a simple and pleasant composition. I like especially the natural aspect of your shot.
Bonne fin de semaine

Buna Oana,
It's always great to see the Swallowtail, and this pic isn't an exception. Good sharpness, nice natural colors, great POV. Simple yet quite pleasant image. Tfs.
Best regards, have a nice weekend, László

Hi Oana

I do like your photography! You do not go for the pretty but for reality!



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