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Black Swallowtail in action

Black Swallowtail in action
Photo Information
Copyright: Claude Ouellet (tiklod) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 290 W: 74 N: 875] (3397)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-08-12
Categories: Insects
Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/400 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-10-28 12:01
Viewed: 2693
Points: 36
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note

The Black Swallowtail, Papilio polyxenes, is a butterfly found throughout much of North America. It is the state butterfly of Oklahoma.

The Black Swallowtail has a wingspan of 3 1/4 inches to 4 1/4 inches (8 to 11 centimeters). The upper surface of the wings is mostly black. On the inner edge of hindwing is a black spot centered in larger orange spot. A male of this species has a yellow band near edge of wings; a female has row of yellow spots. The hindwing of the female has an iridescent blue band.
In the Southwest USA, yellow forms predominate in the subspecies Papilio polyxenes coloro.
After mating, small, yellow eggs are laid, typically on garden plants from the carrot family, including dill, fennel and parsley. First instar larvae grow to about 1.5 cm (0.6 inch) long, resemble bird droppings and are dark purple-brown with a white band in the middle and have spikes, with a light brown-orange ring at the base of each of the spikes in the dark region (spikes are white on the white band). Later instars grow to about 5 cm (2 inches) and are yellow-white and black banded with yellow spots around every second black band. They have short, black spikes around some of the black bands, although these tend to disappear as the larva nears pupation.
The Black Swallowtail Caterpillar has an orange "forked gland", called the osmeterium. When in danger the osmeterium, which looks like a snake's tongue, ejects and releases a foul smell to repel predators.
The Black Swallowtail chrysalis is either brown or green in color, depending upon what the caterpillar attaches itself to. This feature provides excellent camouflage to protect it.

Popular culture
In the Japanese anime and manga series Bleach, black swallowtail butterflies are the product of a ritual that helps the dead rest in peace.

ISO 100

Thanks for your comments,


nglen, jaycee, ramthakur, CeltickRanger, eqshannon, anel, pierrefonds, nirmalroberts, jrobertop has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • jesst Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 368 W: 0 N: 172] (2441)
  • [2007-10-28 12:15]

Wonderful composition and color. Detail on butterfly is good, nice background

Hello Claude,

This is a very pretty picture with great colours...and the composition is perfect. Nice pov and dof.

Kind regards,


  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2007-10-28 13:32]

Salut Claude ! Wow c'est une très beau papillon bien capturé sur de blles fleurs et devant un background parfait. Du très bon travail !


Wonderful DOF and good layout. It's relaxing to look at. Nicely done.

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2007-10-28 16:55]

Hi Claude,

I think this is such a pretty picture with the lovely butterfly and flowers. The colors are just wonderful - a lovely scene from the past summer. You caught the Swallowtail in a wonderful position and the details are excellent.


Must be fluttering its wings constantly, Claude.
It is a lovely specimen pictured from a nice angle. The patterns and colors on its black wings and abdomen look very charming.
Excellent clarity and sharpness.
TFS and regards.

salut Claude

encore une belle photo et j'aime de la façon
dont la papillon est cadré dans l'image,
aussi ce léger floue donne un effet de mouvement à l'image



Bonjour Claude,

Belle compo avec un enesemble contrasté entre ces fleurs pastel et le papilon.
La profondeur de champ est bien exploitée et le mouvement donne un petit plus au volume.
A bientôt!


  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2007-10-29 1:34]

Bonjour Claude,
Très joli tableau avec ces belles fleurs roses et le magnifique Papilio polyxenes. Le léger flou de l'aile donne l'impression de mouvement. Il y a peut être une petite surexposition sur les fleurs. Mais marier clair et sombre, n'est pas facile.
Merci et bonne journée

  • Great 
  • Oz1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 75 W: 2 N: 174] (1012)
  • [2007-10-29 1:59]

Hi Claude,
Lovely shot of this beautifull Papilionid.
Great colors and details. beautifull pose and BG.

Bonjour Claude,

Une belle image de ce papillon sur la fleur, la photo a une bonne composition, netteté et de jolies couleurs. Bonne journée.


Hi Claude,
Good composition and colours. Butterfly body in sharp focus but wings blurred, give a good impression of the dynamic nature of the picture. TFS.
- Nirmal

I think you do really wish it were still spring:-) I too in a way, but if it were not for the 4 season's, I would have never discovered the wheel of life, or it might have been harder.

A classic picture so sharp and colouful. And of course one of the larger and most beautiful of its species. It fits in well for a feeling of change...an image which captures a feeling hidden deep inside...but your insects and flying sprites shall return again in warmth of the sun returning to the N Hemisphere...meanwhile you can pour over your archives...make corrections and find an occasional snowy sight never seen. Well done.


  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2007-10-29 7:57]

Hi Claude,
Wonderful shot of this beautiful butterfly and I like the natural setting with the charming flowers too much. Superb lighting, colours and details. Excellent POV and very nicely composed. Kudos.

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-10-29 9:33]

Hello Claude

A lovely composition,the butterfly is well placed in the frame and perched on a lovely wild Joe Pye Weed.The colours are vibrant, and the lighting is well handled.The butterfly is well seen with just a slight motion blur.Excellent POV and DOF.This is a lovely summer image.TFS


Hello Claude.
Splendid shot! Exuberant butterfly!
Wonderful composition with magnicifent colors!
Excellent POV, sharpness and contrast.
Thanks for sharing!
Best regards,
José Roberto

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2007-10-29 10:55]

Hi Claude.What a great compostion of the buttrefly you have. You have captured it with fine detail and rich colours. I like the pose on the pick flowers. well done TFS. good notes too.

Magnifique compoition, superbes détails et belles couleurs.

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6473 W: 89 N: 15608] (65291)
  • [2007-11-07 2:51]

j'aime les photos des papillons,cette prise est vraiment tres tres belle,on peu la regarder dans les jeux !! merci de partager,Luciano

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