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Swallowtail larvum

Swallowtail larvum
Photo Information
Copyright: Julian Dowding (julian) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 48 W: 0 N: 114] (605)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon 20D
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): jmp *2 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-07-16 13:33
Viewed: 3420
Points: 26
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Swallowtail caterpillar. Fully grown at tip of Milk Parsley stem which is its sole foodplant in the UK. This Swallowtail is known as Papilio Machaon and the sub species 'britannicus'. I hope you like it because it took ages to find one!

Swallowtail butterfly
Papilio machaon
The swallowtail is Britain's largest butterfly and also one of its most beautiful.

Wingspan: up to about 80mm.

Physical Description
Swallowtails are a large yellow butterfly covered in a pattern of black marks and veins. The lower wings have a curved band of blue ending in a small red spot. It has distinctive long black tails projecting to the rear.

Caterpillars are black and white at first, and look like bird droppings to fool potential predators. When they are larger, they turn green with black and orange rings and have retractable 'horns' on their heads which produce a foul smell in order to deter predators.

They are widespread in mainland Europe, but are restricted to the Norfolk Broads in Britain.

They inhabit marshland.

In Britain the caterpillars feed only on milk parsley.

The eggs are laid singly on the food plant. These butterflies usually produce two to three broods from April to September. When broods hatch out in the same year the crysalids are usually green, but when they overwinter as pupae they are usually brown.

Conservation status
Swallowtails are confined to the marshes around the Norfolk Broads but they used to be common throughout the fens of East Anglia. Many marsh areas are now managed specifically for this species, and numbers are again increasing. They are not listed as endangered on IUCN Red List 2000.

Swallowtails are the largest British butterfly.

deblink, jmp, Ken52, Proframe, Luis52, gurupawan, phlr has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To JPlumb: Swallowtailjulian 2 07-17 05:46
To Luis52: Swallowtailjulian 1 07-17 04:04
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Julian
Well found and even better on the capture of this wonderful close up. Sharp and a fantastic non cluttered composition

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2007-07-16 14:06]

Hello Julian. The colours in this one is very good indeed. so many shades of green.very good detail and sharp focusing. with a nice POV. very well done TFS.


a green beauty you made here!perfectsharpness perfect dof just like it should be.nice compo.

  • Great 
  • lise Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 169 W: 48 N: 548] (2877)
  • [2007-07-16 14:45]

Hi Julian,
Fantastic picture of this caterpillar. The sharpness and details are amazing.
Great job!

Hi Julian,
This caterpillar has lovely colours and markings an you have captured them well. Nice sharpness and detail. It stands out well against the background.

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2007-07-16 15:12]

Hi Julian,
Extreme sharpness, beautiful colours, perfect details... a really wonderful photo.
TFS, Josť M.

  • Great 
  • Ken52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 636 W: 93 N: 1243] (4195)
  • [2007-07-16 15:52]

Now this is an outstanding caterpillar photo. The whole thing is in perfect focus. I love that. Great colors, DOF, and composition.

Hello Julian,
Wonderful clear macro image.
Colors, details and soft background are very beautiful.
Only small distraction in my opinion is the top of the leaf lower side of the image, but that's just a minor flaw.
Sharpness and exposure are excellent.
Thanks for sharing.
Kindest regards,

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2007-07-16 18:16]
  • [+]

Hola Julian. Que bella foto. Exelente nitidez y gran colorido. Un Trofeo. Felicidades Luis52.

Hi julian ,

Walking up the ladder you have captured this beauty in perfect frame with real good BG and with amazing details.Love the lighting on this guy which has really got the original colours of this beauty.



splendid ! a fantastic dress, great graphism and great colours,

Hi Julian, very nicely done. You have captured bright almost iridescent colour on this one. The composition with him climbing the parsley stem is great. Our focus and exposure perfect. I'd say it was well worth the wait.

Thanks, John

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-07-26 22:08]

Hello Julian

A superb image of this caterpillar.The focus is spot on with razor sharp details.The colours are vivid.Wonderful POV and DOF.The OOF BG has excellent bokeh.Fantastic shot.TFS


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