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Hairy Hind-wing

Hairy Hind-wing
Photo Information
Copyright: Ivan Kruys (Argus) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-08-30
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon 400D, Canon EF 300 f4L + Canon 1.4 converter
Exposure: f/10.0, 1/500 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2009-01-25 22:51
Viewed: 3837
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 80
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus)

Swedish name: Kamgräsfjäril

Though this is a common species of Satyrid butterfly I have not posted an image of it before.

This species, like all of the Coenonympha genus, do not rest with the wings open. For this reason my first aim was to take a shot of it in flight, as this is a the only way one can see its wings open in nature: the alternative is to catch it and either hold the body and blow on the wings, or to see it set in a collection. So far I have not succeeded with an in-flight shot but will keep trying!

Here you can just make out the orange colour of the upper surface of the front wing as it is not completely hidden by its opposite.

It is interesting to note the function of butterfly scales. The main function is colour; either by pigment, as in this species, or by reflection of light depending on the scale structure, as in Lycaenid butterflies.
Another function is to give out scents, pheromones for sexual purposes.

A third function is heat conservation and protection from moisture. Certain scales are shaped like hairs that can be seen on most butterfly bodies, especially on those of temperate climates. The smaller species have hairs on the underside hind-wings; their small size allows the presence of hairs without impairing flight. When resting at night these hair scales allow dew drops to form without wetting the body and as the fore-wings are tucked behind the hind, they don’t need to be hairy as well. Larger butterflies are strong enough to shake off water droplets and only need hairs to protect the body during cold dewy nights.

As I have not been able to find much information on hair scales the above paragraph is based on my own observations and I am happy to be corrected and have more info on this.

This species is common in most of Europe as several subspecies and has been shown on TN many times.

The flower that this Small Heath is settled on is that of Common Thrift (Armeria maritima). Indeed this was taken quite close to the sea.

I took this image with my usual camera and long lens hand-held at a distance of about 1.8 meters (6 ft). After moderate cropping and size reduction the image was selectively sharpened.

septimiu_nemes, Miss_Piggy, valy67, meyerd, Juyona, haraprasan, ramthakur, Vinster, PeterZ, boreocypriensis, red45, siggi, jusninasirun, marhowie, crs, gannu, eqshannon, jaycee, nglen, zulfu, eng55, ferranjlloret, matatur, Noisette, CeltickRanger, maurydv, anel, goldyrs has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Noisette: ThanksArgus 1 01-27 04:36
To foozi: ThanksArgus 1 01-26 03:13
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Critiques [Translate]

wonderful capture Ivan ,
contrast are perfect , light is natural and perfect , sharp are very good , colours are vivid and very beautiful ,
very well done !

  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2009-01-25 23:06]

Hi Argus,

A well captured shot with good POV and focus,the oof flower in the BG is a bit distracting,but overall a very nice capture and as usual an informative note,


Hallo Ivan
This butterfly is richly blessed with lots of beautiful fluffy hair. You have captured it with great detail and care. It is a very pleasing image with lots of detail to appreciate. The detail of the antenna is well seen and displays well against the neutral green background. To me it is always interesting to see the difference between the inner and outer wing and your image shows the variation well. I must admit that the colours of the flower caught my eye, as it is very pleasing. The silvery colour in between the pink is very attractive and pleasant to look at. I also like the blurred flower in the backdrop, creating only a pinkish blotch in the background.
Thanks for sharing.
Friendly regards

  • Great 
  • valy67 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1727 W: 59 N: 3060] (9219)
  • [2009-01-25 23:25]

Hello Ivan !
Maybe you didn't manage to get an in-flight shot, but this one is splendid as well ! I love all the details on the butterfly, the composition, with butterfly and flower stading out on the completely blurred BG, and what I like even more are the lovely and tender colors of this picture. It's really beautiful. Very well done !

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  • meyerd Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 585 W: 64 N: 2238] (7531)
  • [2009-01-25 23:38]

Hi Ivan,

to accompany an excellent picture with an outstanding note is still a rarity on TN, but you set a good example here. It occurs to me too to brood over the things I take pictures from. And you came up with this interesting thought about "why the hind wing has hairs and the forewing not". It comes from a person that looks closely and has the curiosity of the scientist. I really enjoyed this one, Ivan.

Best regards

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2009-01-26 0:20]

Hola amigo,
delicada captura y fino encuadre,
colores y hermoso pov.
saludos Ivan.

Hi Ivan,
perfect shot and very nice photomodel!

Best regards, Leonid

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  • zetu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 26 N: 3888] (16941)
  • [2009-01-26 0:36]

Hi Ivan
Nice capture, very sharp image with rich details and wonderful colors. Very well done.
Best regards.
Razvan Zinica

Hi Ivan,
A nice capture of this beautiful Small Heath. Superb sharp details with a lovely composition and very good POV. Thanks a lot for sharing.

The lower wing of this butterfly is really hairy, Ivan.
In contrast, the upper one is smooth and very colourful with that charming eye-spot.
Common Thrift is a beautiful flower and adds to the appeal of this lovely composition.

Hi Ivan
Lovely shot, well exposed with natural and subtle colours. Small Heaths are easily overlooked compared to the bold colours of say a Peacock - but they have their own beauty.
Kind Regards

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2009-01-26 2:58]
  • [+]

Hi Ivan,
a very lovely shot of this butterfly. Well seen with dreat details. The hairy parts are really wonderful, as its serve the ourpose of pollination.
A neat composition, colours well rendered and outstanding presentation.


  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2009-01-26 3:21]

Hello Ivan,
Fantastic photo with a perfect sharp focus and details. Very beautiful colours and a splendid contrasting BG. Excellent DOF, POV and composition.

Hi Ivan dostum,

A perfectly composed and focused macro of this strange (with hairy hind wings and soft colouration) and beautiful small heat. Nice to see the Swedish version of the species indeed.
TFS and cheers,


Hello Ivan
Just a superb photo, well composed with fine details and colours
Well done

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2009-01-26 4:06]

Hello Ivan!

Real beauty. Veins and colours on its wings are perfectly taken. Common butterfly but not very common on TN. Excellent capture.

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  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2009-01-26 5:30]

Hello Ivan,
very good closeup of this beautiful butterfly!
the good sharpness, colour and superb details
the bg colour makes the subject very outstanding,well done.Best regards

Hi Ivan,

This is one beautiful image that you have been keeping in your archive since last summer in Sweden. A dream take with no busyness whatsoever to distract the view. Well framed and sharp details and beautiful wings markings as well. Excellent photo to share in TN and very well written notes too. Truly gorgeous and TFS.

Best regards,

Hi Ivan,
Wonderful warm sunny look, makes one yearn even more for Spring darnit!
Sharp, detailed, colorful, and I love the BG with the OOF pink color behind.
Well composed - Well done!

hello Ivan
great picture
good colours and great sharpness
greeting lou

  • Great 
  • crs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 469 W: 0 N: 922] (3551)
  • [2009-01-26 7:56]

Hello Ivan,

You have shown this butterfly in such a delicate light. Colors are so nice as there is nothing striking. The colors of the forwings match nicely with the gray of the backwings. The sharply shown insect stays very nice against the blurry background.

Thank you for sharing,

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2009-01-26 8:08]

Ivan, nice shot with superb details. Excellent view and lovely composition. Ganesh

It does have a very different look and one can see where the name came from...good close on shot Ivan...Glad your archives as well as the Mrs..are holding up through these winter months...I am so looking forward to a wonderful summer of shots such as this!

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  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2009-01-26 10:34]

Hi Ivan,

This is soooooooo beautiful. You have captured the Small Heath in all her glory. The views of both sides of the wings are wonderful. Beautiful orange on one, and marvelous furry textures on the other. Lovely pose on the pretty flower. Background and composition are magnificent.


  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2009-01-26 11:43]

Hi Ivan . You can make this your target for next summer to to get one inflight. If you do i will buy you a beer.!! .
This is still a first class picture showing the hind wings with such detail. very good colours. A nice POV/DOF. i like the plain Green BG. well done TFS.

  • Great 
  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2009-01-26 12:47]

Hello Ivan,
Lovely shot of this beautiful butterfly with nice composition.
TFS and G's,

Ciao Ivan, fascinating composition with lovely butterfly and beautiful flower, wonderful delicate colors, perfect focus and splendid blurry BG, good light, fine details and excellent sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

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  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2009-01-26 14:09]

Hi Ivan,
Excellent close up.Colors,BG,POV,composition and details are perfect.Very well done!
Thanks for posting.

Hola Ivan,
una buena captura de ésta Small Heath, muy bien compuesta en su flor, muy buena nitidez y un interesante documento.
Saludos cordiales. Ferran.

What a nice, fluffy looking butterfly on a good looking lilac flower group against an image enhancing BG Ivan, thank you indeed for sharing this fine image with us my friend.


POV, lights focus and colours, Was catched by a MASTER.

Best regards


hello Ivan
amazing shot of this small heath, the butterfly and the flower are well focused with a lot of details especially on his hairy wings
have a good night

bonjour Ivan

très belle photographie de ce papillon avec la fleur,
prise avec un excellent POV, DOF et cadrage,
très belle luminosité, très belle et douce tonalisté des couleurs,
excellente netteté et détails, TFS


  • Great 
  • demeve Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 586 W: 12 N: 1682] (6165)
  • [2009-01-26 18:35]

Hello Ivan,
Great POV and excellent details, this is a very beautiful photo
and the details are very sharp.. Well done


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  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2009-01-26 22:55]

Hello Ivan,
Wonderful butterfly close up.I liked POV,sharpness,simple BG,clear details and framing a lot.TFS

hello ivan,
i have missed many postings her at TN recently but i am glad that i have not missed this one, this is a beautiful capture of the small heath, the dof is perfect, a very pleasing composition and good details captured,
well done,
tfs & regards

Hi Ivan,
a wonderful picture of Coenonympha pamphilus, a very great sharpness, i like the bright colours and beautiful luminosity, marvellous BG.
TFS. Best regards.

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2009-01-27 7:34]

Hello Ivan,
A beautiful and fine picture going with an excellent note. I enjoyed reading your observations on the hair scales, I think it's the way we should " aller à la rencontre de la nature". I never have seen the Small Heath with open wings too. It is common on my mountain meadow.
Very interesting posting
Bonne soirée

This is yet another beautiful macro, my friend Ivan.
Very well seen and timed!

  • Great 
  • livius Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 300 W: 0 N: 391] (1525)
  • [2009-01-28 10:46]

Hello Ivan
good hand of lights and shadows between the butterfly and the little flowers. It is still appraised more for the optimal soft background and the great focusing with very interesting details on the wings.

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