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Photo Information
Copyright: Sumon Sinha (Mana) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-03-31
Categories: Insects
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC-H2
Exposure: f/3.5, 1/60 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Butterflies with minimum 50 points & above [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-05-17 7:38
Viewed: 4671
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 50
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Common Mormon, Papilio polytes, is a common species of swallowtail butterfly widely distributed across Asia. This butterfly is known for the mimicry displayed by the numerous forms of its females which mimic inedible Red-bodied Swallowtails, such as the Common Rose and the Crimson Rose.

Jet black butterfly with row of white spots along the middle part of hindwing. 90-100 mm. This is a very common species and is not threatened. Interestingly, this species has considerable genetic variability and is known to produce gynandromorphs, genetic aberrations which are part male and part female.

This picture is of the female form stichius. The female of the Common Mormon is polymorphic. In South Asia, it has three forms or morphs. These are as follows :-
Form cyrus
This form is similar to the male, differing in that it always has strongly marked red crescents. It is the least common of the three forms. It is normally abundant where the Common Rose or Crimson Rose do not occur, such as in Himachal Pradesh around Shimla; although a few specimens of form romulus have also been caught alongside.
Form stichius
This female form of the Common Mormon mimics the Common Rose very closely. This is the commonest form wherever the Common Rose flies.
Form romulus
This female form mimics the Crimson Rose and is common over its range. It is not such a close mimic as the previous form being duller than its model, the Crimson Rose. It is easy to differentiate the mimics from models by the colour of their body - the models are red-bodied and the mimics are black-bodied.
Form sakontala
Subhimalayan distribution. Male upperside dull, somewhat brownish black. Fore wing very sparingly irrorated with yellowish scales, that form ill-defined cellular and internervnlar streaks. Hind wing with a discal series of very diffuse greenish-white spots in interspaces 1 to 7 and an ill-defined tornal reddish lunule; the spots in interspaces 5 and 6 are the most diffuse, and beyond the whole series there is a postdiscal slight irroration of whitish scales. Underside: fore wing opaque dark brown, the internervular streaks broader, more prominent than on the upperside. Hindwing black; the discal series of elongate spots dingy white, larger and more clearly defiued than on the upperside, followed by a large tornal more or less vermilion-red spot with a black centre and a subterminal series of similarly-coloured lunules; the discal spot in interspace 2 bordered outwardly by an outwardly-curved lunule. Cilia black alternated with white. Antennae, head, thorax and abdomen black. Female unknown.

The male has one morph only. It is a dark-coloured swallow-tailed butterfly. The upper forewing has a series of white spots decreasing in size towards the apex. The upper hindwing has a complete discal band of elongated white spots. It may or may not have marginal red crescents. The males are smaller in size than the females.

The Common Mormon prefers lightly wooded country, but is present everywhere and high up into the hills. It is a regular visitor to gardens, being especially abundant in orchards of its foodplants - oranges and limes. It is most common in the monsoon and post-monsoon months.

Scientific classification -
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Papilionidae
Subfamily: Papilioninae
Genus: Papilio
Species: P. polytes

LordPotty, deblink, parthasarathi, SelenE, Alex99, ramthakur, magal, bobair, Juyona, uleko, Argus, angybone, falke, ridvan, Ken52, Maite has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

A wonderful shot Sumon.
Perfect colour and clarity.
A very thorough and comprehensive note too.
Great work as usual.

Hi Sumon,
Very good capture of the beautiful butterfly..!
Good framing, good lighting and pretty colours too..!
Very nice composition..!
well done,

Hi Sumon,

What a beautiful butterfly. You captured the detail on it perfectly, well done.


Hello Sumon,
This is a glorious looking Butterfly with a lovely shape and colourings. You image of it is wonderful with great sharpness and detail. Good one.

HI Sumon,
I also thought about to show a swallowtail today - but now I will show it another day.
Yours is fantstic, excellent sharpness and light, pretty colours, realy noble, thanks
Sabine - wishnugaruda

Verry good information along with a good photograph.

colors are a little harsh. focus and pose are great DOF is very nice

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2007-05-17 10:13]

Hi Sumon.
You managed to capture an amazing specimen of the butterfly. Its reproduction, especially, reflection of its texture is terrific. Light, colours, and details are fantastic too. I like the composition of the shot, your POV and precisely selected DOF. Great picture. My compliments and TFS.

This is butterfly photography at its best, Sumon.
The specimen of the Mormon you have captured is fresh, young, healthy and glossy. The picture is so well captured it gives a three-dimensional impression.
Excellent POV, DOF, colours, details and sharpness.
This is going to be my favourite.

Hello Sumon,
This is another wonderful butterfly picture. Without flash this Common Mormon would appear very dark, I guessed. The note is very interesting and informative. Very well done and TFS.

  • Great 
  • magal Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 224 W: 0 N: 313] (1251)
  • [2007-05-17 14:56]

Hello Sumon,
Beautiful shot, with excellent POV and brilliant colours. Very well exposed and sharp in detail.
Top notch note!

Ciao Sumon, wonderful butterfly with splendid color and great details, excellent composition, Bravo! very well done, ciao Silvio

Hi Sumon,
very nice capture of this butterfly with great details,colour and focus. Your notes are excellent and I have learned something new today as a result.Tfs. Bob

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-05-17 23:17]

Hello Sumon

Nicely composed shot of this beautiful butterfly.Your DOF and POV are excellent.The colours are deep and well saturated,and the details are sharp and well focused.Very good contrast and you handled the lighting very well.TFS


  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2007-05-18 2:35]

Hola Sumon,
bella captura,
los colores y el pov, excelentes
saludos TFS.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-05-18 5:19]

Hello Sumon,
Very fine capture of this Mormon with its large wings spread out. Great sharpness but the flash has distorted the colours a bit.
Excellent composition.
TFS and regards, Ulla

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-05-18 13:16]

Hello Sumon,
I guess one has to take a shot of a Swallowtail early in the morning when it it sunning itself. Later in the day it is to hot for a Common Mormon to remain stationary like the one in this shot. You took the oportunity well by taking this fine sharp and well detailed shot using flash to give good colouring and light. Nice leafy BG too.
Very fine post.
TFS and best wishes, Ivan

Magnificent wing spread...great color and sharpness. I love that angle.

  • Great 
  • ridvan Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 498 W: 0 N: 1136] (5205)
  • [2007-05-18 14:33]

hi sumon: very good macro capture of this lovely b.fly beautiful colours with nice Bg
good composition and pov, great details
TFS well done.

Hi Sumon,

Excellent shot of this Papilio polytes
Lovely composition with superb sharp details and good colours
nicely framed

TFS Thijs

  • Great 
  • Ken52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 636 W: 93 N: 1243] (4195)
  • [2007-05-18 23:55]

Hi Sumon,
Beautiful butterfly with excellent exposure and detail. We can see all the detail very clearly. Nice colors and interesting shape of butterfly. Good work!

  • Great 
  • falke Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 153 W: 18 N: 479] (1863)
  • [2007-05-19 7:21]

How amazingly beautiful! Great composition too! Did you use any flash?


Back with points!

Hi Sumon ,
great details and vivid colours.
it has excellent sharpness too.
very well captured.
thanks for sharing
best wishes

  • Great 
  • Maite Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 998 W: 65 N: 1270] (5199)
  • [2007-05-21 13:26]

What a shot I missed!!
It's so beautiful and amazing!
The composition is really gorgeous, with a magnificent quality in all aspects.
A real humdinger!
Congratulations and thank you very much for sharing.

Olá Sumon,
Maravilhosa captura desta borboleta, impressionante cores e nitides desta foto !!!
Parabéns, um lindo trabalho !
Abraços, HenriqueººBrasil

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