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Orange Tip

Orange Tip
Photo Information
Copyright: Joe Kellard (joey) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-05-06
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon EOS 400D (Rebel XTi), Sigma 180mm f/3.5 Macro EX APO IF HSM, Digital ISO-200
Exposure: f/20.0, 1/200 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-12-11 3:43
Viewed: 3063
Points: 52
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Here's an Orange Tip which I photographed back in May.

I hope you like it!

Orange Tip - Anthocharis cardamines

This is a butterfly in the Pieridae family.

Appearance, behaviour and distribution
So named because of the male's bright orange tips to his forewings. The males are a common sight in spring flying along hedgerows and damp meadows in search of the more reclusive female which lacks the orange and is often mistaken for one of the other 'White' butterflies. The undersides are mottled green and white and create a superb camouflage when settled on flowerheads such as Cow Parsley and Garlic Mustard Alliaria petiolata. The male is able to hide his orange tips by tucking the forwings behind the hindwings at rest. If you look closely at the mottling you will see that the green colour is in fact made up of a mixture of black and yellow scales. It is found across Europe, and eastwards into temperate Asia as far as Japan. The past 30 years has seen a rapid increase in the range of the Orange Tip in the UK particularly in Scotland and Ireland, probably in response to climate change.

Lifecycle and foodplants
The female lays eggs singly on the flowerheads of Cuckooflower Cardimine pratensis and Garlic Mustard and many other species of wild Crucifers, all of which contain chemicals called glucosinolates. Females are attracted to larger flowers, such as Hesperis matronalis, even though some such species are poor larval hosts. Selection of foodplants is triggered by the presence of mustard oils, which are detected by chemosensory hairs on the fore-legs. Reproductive rate of females appears to be limited by difficulties in finding suitable hosts. As a consequence, the species has evolved to use a wide range of crucifers. The eggs are white to begin with but change to a bright orange after a few days before darkening off just before hatching. Because the larvae feed almost exclusively on the flowers and developing seedpods there is rarely enough food to support more than one larva per plant. If two larvae meet one will often be eaten by the other to eliminate its competitor. Newly hatched larvae will also eat unhatched eggs for the same reason. To stop eggs from being laid on plants already laid on the female leaves a pheromone to deter future females from laying. There are five larval instars. The green and white caterpillar is attacked by several natural enemies (notably Tachinid flies and Braconid wasps). Pupation occurs in early summer in scrubby vegetation near the foodplant, where they stay to emerge the following spring. Recent research suggests that the emergence of the butterfly may be delayed for as much as two years, thus ensuring the species against unfavourable conditions in a given season.

Damp pastures and meadows, damp woodland edges and glades, riverbanks, ditches, dykes, fens, railway cuttings and country lanes.


Adanac, cataclysta, Heaven, ellis49, siggi, anel, Alex99, horia, nglen, eqshannon, pekkavalo1, jaycee, boreocypriensis, marhowie, maurydv, meyerd, Jamesp, hester, peter_stoeckl, valy67 has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To horia: :-))joey 1 12-14 03:32
To jazdzurka: English wordjoey 1 12-11 14:36
To anel: Same photojoey 1 12-11 08:02
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-12-11 3:49]

Hi Neighbor,
Incredibly detailed macro image with vivid color. Very cool piece of work Joe, thanks for the great work.

Hi Joe
Fantastic macro. All the detyails are clerly visible Great eye contact ;-) Perfect sharpness, great blured background Very good job

Hi Joe!

Yes, this is the kind of picture you are the master! It's a perfect macro picture with great sharpness and therefore rich and amazing details. Pictures like this one give us a totally different impression of butterflies. Who would believe that a butterfly is such a hairy fellow...!

Kind regards


Hi Joe,
a very good close-up with very fine details.
I'm surprised that you could get this close to an Orange Tip,
they use to fly away long before you can get in a decent distance for a shot.
Lovely colours, fine POV and good DOF.
This also could be an good example of handle a fill-in flash without hard contrast and shadows, really nice to see.
Very good work, my young friend.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-12-11 5:03]

Hello Joe,
A wonderful sharp close macro of an Orange Tip, the closest I have seen, taken with excellent sharpness and lighting to show us details of the head, thorax and part of the wing. Great to see the differently coloured scales as well as the hair scales and compound eye.
A very nice contribution and thanks for sharing it!

La verdad es que desde tan cerca no la había visto nunca. Has conseguido una buena ampliación y respetando el color original.
Buen trabajo.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2008-12-11 5:12]

Hello Joe,
what an excellent macro of the Orange Tip butterfly. Stunningly beautiful and so sharp and clear too. Well done,
Best regards Siggi

Hi Joe, superb closeup of splendid butterfly, perfect focus, amazing details and excellent sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2008-12-11 7:02]
  • [+]

Hello Joey,
Happy to find the close-up of the Orange Tip again, wasn't it turned the other way around? I'm in general not a fan of close-ups, but here the subject is so special and the colors so fine and subtle, that there is a perfect harmony between the butterfly and its surrounding. Great shot.
Have a nice evening

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-12-11 7:48]

Bravo, Joe.
Perfectly done macro shot. Aperture is great as well as the flash work. I like framing of the butterfly portrait so much too. Details and sharpness are stunning. My compliments.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2008-12-11 9:17]
  • [+]

Hi Joe

When i look at great macros like this, it makes me feel very impatient for my new lens and, of course, for the next season :)
Wonderful close-up here with this extreme magnification on this orange tip's head.
The textures everywhere are fantastic - from the hairs on its body all the way to those impressive looking eyes - while the DOF and the light that you used are simply spot-on.
A true macro in every sense of the word!

Bravo and TFS

PS: can't wait to get together next year and have more time to exchange tips and tricks :)

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-12-11 10:38]

Hello Joe,
A photo in incredible sharpness and details. Perfect image with a fantastic composition.

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-12-11 12:15]

Hi Joe. Once again a first class macro of the Orange Tip. The detail is second to none. Good use of the flash light with bright clear colours. well done TFS.

ANOTHER super close in shot..This looks closer than you have been ever before by the eyes...It is archival and I was just telling Silvio I have exhasted my archives...so I have to go out as I did today...even in the fog and I got a bit lucky but had none of this fine weather you seem to have had back then.

Hi Joe,
I told you will find excellent pictures from your archives. This is an excellent close-up of Orange Tip. Very good POV and composition, sharp interesting details, bright beautiful colours. Well done!

Hi Joey
Excellent macro shot.
From technical point of view just perfect.
The eye of the Orange Tip is hipnotic (I don't know if it is real English word).

Thanks for sharing

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-12-11 16:48]

Hi Joe,

Was this butterfly inside your camera??? You keep getting closer and closer and with excellent results. Colors are unbelievable - amazing details showing all the little hairs - and an absolutely magnificent eye.


Hi OwlMan Joe:-)
Great macro capture of a anterior part of a Orange Tip with superb details and sharpness. i can count all bristles with this great shot.
TFS this fine image my friend.


Hi Joe,
Tack sharp details, this is an excellent extreme closeup with wonderful details seen..
Great use of flash, POV, and framing also :)
Well done!

Hello Joe

Wonderful sharpness and detail.
The lighting is well done,and the colours are vibrant.
I am really impressed with the eye detail.
Good DOF,the butterfly is well focused against the slightly OOF BG.
The butterfly's fur is amazing.


Ciao Joe,
spettacolare super macro di Anthocharis cardamines, catturata con straordinari dettagli in una composizione con un taglio drastico ma ben equilibrata in ogni sua parte,
splendidi colori con un perfetto uso del flash che crea una bellissima luminosità.

  • Great 
  • meyerd Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 585 W: 64 N: 2238] (7531)
  • [2008-12-11 23:40]

Hi Joe,
you succeeded marvelously with this "Brustbild" . From my experience this moth does'nt like to stand still, so I admire the shot all the more. To find the right compromise between DOF and sharpness you have to choose a small but not too small f value. Now you choose f/20 and got away with it! Your Sigma macro lens obviously does wonders. My compliments.

Best regards,

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-12-11 23:42]

Hi Joe

A very good macro with nice colours and detail.


  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2008-12-12 11:46]

Hi Joe

I was wondering where you found one of these in December until I read your note. I love the sharp details, the great POV, lovely colours and perfect DOF. Very nice macro work



  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-12-14 18:01]

Hi Joe,
Outstanding macro image and those bristles look magnificent. Immaculate sharpness and lovely colours with perfect use of flash lighting. That eye looks so huge and gorgeous.

Hi Joey,
spectacular tack sharp close approach showing almost microscopic details of an orange tip's face and thorax.
Very good demontration of achieving the impression of green colour by simply mixing yellow and black scales.
And what a beautifully iridescent eye in the close-up!
Very fine work that is creatively bringing new aspects to familiar objects. Thank you!
You are presenting an impressive gallery of outstanding photographic works. With all my best wishes to you.

  • Great 
  • valy67 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1727 W: 59 N: 3060] (9219)
  • [2008-12-30 23:23]

Hello Joe !
Wow, this can be called an extreme close-up - and so brilliantly done ! Wonderful sharpness and details, we can xlearly see each and every little hair on the b-fly, even the scales on the wings. Composition, POV and colors are wonderful too. Very well done !

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