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Brown Argus

Brown Argus
Photo Information
Copyright: Nigel Deacon (Merlin) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 445 W: 267 N: 455] (1713)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-09-09
Categories: Insects
Camera: Nikon D200, Nikkor AF Micro 105 mm f/2.8
Exposure: f/8, 1/125 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2006-10-09 6:27
Viewed: 4108
Points: 36
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Brown Argus Aricia/Plebeius agestis.

As can be seen from this photograph, it is really unfair to call this tiny butterfly "brown." Apart from the orange spots along the edges of the wings, fresh specimens have an attractive green iridescence on the upper wings. This is a female, with clear orange spots extending the full arc along the forewing outer edge.

This species is characteristic of southern chalk and limestone grassland in the UK, but also occurs in coastal habitats as far north as north Wales and Yorkshire. This specimen was photographed at a colony I found this year in a disused local sand quarry - I hadn't seen a single argus in twelve years living in the area, then I saw more than fifty in a few hours!

The adults have a very silvery appearance as they fly low to the ground and they stop frequently either to perch or feed on flowers. When perched, they are difficult to spot and, like all small active species, very frustrating to photograph! They may be confused with Common Blue females, which also have brown upperwings but usually with some blue at the base.

A widespread and common species across Europe as far north as Denmark and southern Sweden, across to the Middle East and Siberia, and also in North Africa.

Larval foodplants: Common Rock-rose Helianthemum nummularium is used almost exclusively on calcareous grassland. In other habitats it uses annual foodplants, mainly Dove's-foot Crane's-bill Geranium molle and Common Stork's-bill Erodium cicutarium. There are also recent reports of egg-laying on other Geranium species.

The UK range of its close relative the Northern Brown Argus A. artaxerxes is restricted to Scotland and northern England, and its range is retreating northwards.

Shot taken handheld, manual exposure and focus @ D-ISO 100.

scottevers7, volkan, sandpiper2, phlr, Argus, vanderschelden, RAP, wallhalla15, pvb, manyee, Christopher_PL, cedryk, peter_stoeckl has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Nigel,
Excellent composition and framing on this Brown Argus. The exposure looks spot on. Amazing colors and fine detail in those wings. Good control on the DOF has given a nice OOF backround. Nice shot!

Hi Nigel,
Beautiful bf photo.The details,sharpness and blurry BG is perfect.Great job.

Hi Nigel,

Excellent shot
Great sharpness , colours , POV and DOF

TFS Thijs

Great composition.
Excellent sharpness and OOF background.
Well done.

  • Great 
  • radz Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 598 W: 11 N: 72] (436)
  • [2006-10-09 7:57]

Nice details..good cmposition&POV.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2006-10-09 10:28]

Hello Nigel,
Nice close-up of this female Brown Argus, with good BG and pleasingly placed.
It is found only in Scania in Sweden, but artaxerxes is more widely spread but not common.

Hi Nigel
A real painter's palette in the wings.
Butterfly is sharp.
Well done

  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2006-10-09 11:47]

Hi Nigel,

A great shot of this argus,well composed with good details and sharpness,well done and TFS,


  • Great 
  • RAP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2524 W: 345 N: 2373] (7405)
  • [2006-10-09 13:53]

Very good macro Nigel...

I like it a lot: composition, POV, sharpness, focus, color, framing, lighting, notes.

I like it: DOF (for elected POV, perhaps F5.6 it has benefitted the bottom), background.

Nice shot.
Greetings... Ricardo

A great composition Nigel, I like it.
Excellent color, DOF, exposure, sharpness, and detail..
Well seen from the blurred BG, very good notes on this one as well :)
Very well done!

Hello Nigel,
this is a great photo. Great colours, excellent sharpness and POV. This is a very nice composition. I like it very much. Thank you for posting my friend.

  • Great 
  • pvb Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 385 W: 16 N: 531] (1981)
  • [2006-10-09 16:25]

Very nice captured butterfly.
Good details and sharpness. I also like the comp.
gr. paula

Hi Nigel,
Strong capture here. Love the dynamic diagonal composition and the sharp butterfly aginst the soft BG. Well seen.

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2006-10-11 2:25]

A perfect POV on this argus, Nigel.
Great show of the iridescent green on those "brown" wings.
The orange dots make a beautiful "skirt" on the edges.
Your excellent focus and exposure show the battle-scars endured by this butterfly. I like the diagonal composition against the well blurred BG.
TFS. : )

Hi Nigel,
Great shot of this small Lycaenidae. Good composed with natural colours. Really good background - thanks


  • Great 
  • cedryk Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 50 N: 1722] (5270)
  • [2006-10-11 20:15]

Hello Nigel,
Very nice photo of this small butterfly. Nicely controlled DOF. Well fitted colours of the backround.
Best greetings,

Hi Nigel,
brilliant and clear shot, the slight iridescence on wings perfectly shown in a subtle but wide spectre of colours. Perfect. With thanks, and best regards,

Buen enfoque y extraordinaro fondo. Buen juego de colores.


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