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Papilio machaon

Papilio machaon
Photo Information
Copyright: Jose Rodriguez (jmp) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-08-14
Categories: Insects
Camera: Fuji Finepix S9500, Digital ISO 200
Exposure: f/6.4, 1/180 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-08-18 2:57
Viewed: 6661
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 107
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Papilio machaon caterpillar

This is a very well known caterpillar here in TN, so I have not written anything about it. See references at the end of this note, if you want to read something about this species.

I couldn't imagine that with temperatures from 30º-40º (at sun-shadow!) for more than one month and no rains at all, such a “soft” and unprotected caterpillar can live.
With so high temperatures we have to walk as vampires (after sunset). So, the first time I saw the caterpillar I had not taken the camera with me. Next day I took the camera and went for a stroll one hour before sunset, but the only clouds in the sky in all the summer appeared! So next day I tried again with full sun. Curiously the caterpillar lives in the same fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) stem. I have looked hundred of fennels without finding another! At sunset it can be found in the top (1.5 high) and at full sun it remains near the floor to protect itself among the dried grass: Spanish summer sun can roast such a caterpillar in a few hours! (You can fry an egg over a car!)
This caterpillar not only knows how to reorganize itself into a butterfly, but how UV and IR can acts on it!
Have an excellent weekend!
English information: The Swallowtail
Información en español: La Machaón
Time: 20:13
Aperture priority, Metering Mode=Spot, Flash=Off, Focal Length=96
ISO 200 was used by error, so I've got some noise in the background.

uleko, Argus, marhowie, nglen, JoseMiguel, Silke, ridvan, jrobertop, peter_stoeckl, Matt-Bird, hester, jaycee, JORAPAVI, Jamesp, Juyona, Isu, valy67, marmottelolo, anavazao, Necipp, jpinkham, lovenature, Jonas_Schmitt_, ramthakur, Platypus, Maite, jcoowanitwong, SelenE, Tamrock, Miss_Piggy has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Diegaso: Un saludo desde Españajmp 1 07-22 09:08
To Argus: How to live under the sun!jmp 1 08-18 03:59
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2007-08-18 3:24]

Hi Jose,
an awesome shot of this beautiful caterpillar.
Sharp with beautiful colours.
Only down side is the noise but a noise-reduction software could clean that up.
Well done,

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-08-18 3:35]

Hello Jose
THis is and excellent macro of this caterpillar. Great sharpness, fine colours, nice soft background and a fine composition.
TYFS and regards, Ulla

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-08-18 3:40]
  • [+]

Hola José,
Superb macro of a full-grown Swallowtail caterpillar.
Fine sharpness, detail and as usual for you the lighting is excellent and the dry browns of a Spanish late summer combine to provide a great blurred contrasting BG.
You raise a good point in your note as to how soft and fragile creatures like this caterpillar can survive the baking sun. I can't provide a simple answer to that.
Buen trabajo amigo!
Gracias por compartir esta foto.

Hi Jose,
A bug! :)
Good exposure control with nice warm colors, and nicely focused where it must be..Stands out well from the BG, great diagonal composition..
Well done mf.

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2007-08-18 4:25]

Hi Jose. A very good close up shot. showing all the details and markings of the caterpillar so well. bright colours.A nice PO/DOF. well done TFS.good notes too.

  • Great 
  • batu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1079 W: 293 N: 4497] (16383)
  • [2007-08-18 4:48]

Hola Jose,
a magnificent presentation of the caterpillar which nearly fills the whole picture. Nice composition and colours!
Best wishes, Peter

  • Great 
  • sayat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 280 W: 0 N: 258] (1457)
  • [2007-08-18 5:00]

Excellent details and a magnificent macro! The colors are so vivid! Great shot.

La luz esta un poco pachucha pero la foto es muy bonita. Es una oruga preciosa. El encuadre perfecto.

Hi Jose,
a colourful fat lady ;-) What a great catch, I never saw such a wonderful caterpillar in nature. Thanks and greetings
Sabine - wishnugaruda

Bonita toma de la clásica Papilio que quien más o quien menos tenemos en la galería. Buen enfoque en la parte alta y curiosos y diferentes colores. Saludos.

Hola José Miguel,
Pues vaya que tiene su historia esta foto!
Pero finalmente te saliste con la tuya, y con una muy buena foto de la oruga.
Me gusta la composición en diagonal que armaste, y el tono del fondo refleja las altas temperaturas que nos mencionas.
Buen trabajo y un gran saludo,

  • Great 
  • Silke Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 729 W: 98 N: 1707] (5458)
  • [2007-08-18 8:04]

Despite the minor noise here, this is a superb macro. Great composition, colours and details, perfect BG

Hola José,
Muy linda esa oruga me gustan sus colores y esos puntitos que tiene, la cálidda luz y ese sencillo fondo no distrayente.

Hi Jose,
Great capture.
Excellent colors, sharpness and texture.
Very good POV; shot rich in details.
Well done!
Thanks for sharing!
My best regards!
José Roberto

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2007-08-18 13:07]

Hi Jose,
Just marking this post and will be back with a proper critique later.

Hello José,
what a colourful, well fed caterpillar!
I've seen so many adult swallowtails these years, but never any of their impressingly beautiful caterpillars.
Classical diagonally well composed image with bright but subtle colours in front of reddish brown background that seems to tell of a dry summer meadow parched by the summer sun of Andalucia.
Possibly caused by some rather tight cropping and high ISO settings there is some noise in the background - but that was mentioned by you and might easily be removed by little postwork.
Most impressing story of the circumstances of the caterpillar's survival techniques under those very hot conditions. Thank you!
My best regards,

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-08-18 22:02]

Hello Jose

What a beautiful caterpillar.The focus and sharpness is excellent.The lighting is wonderful producing rich and vibrant colours.The diagonal composition is lovely.Super POV and DOF.The OOF BG is very well done.TFS


Hi Jose,
A great subject to take photos of. Just wonderful colours and intersting patterns on this caterpillar and you have shown it off very nicely,

Hello Jose,
Oh, this caterpillar is as nice as the beautiful butterfly it'll become! What a colorful insect that you captured very well with nice details and good composition. I like the fact that it occupies the whole frame. There is a little noise in the BG but I'm being picky here again :) I hope that you’ll have a break of hot temperature soon; I would have great difficulty to endure this climate as I’m more a Nordic person than a tropical one :) During summer time, when it is very hot, I always complain but you never will ear me complain in winter, even if it is very cold… Thanks and have a good weekend!

hello jose,
what a fine picture of the beautiful caterpilar, liked the colours, contrast very much, nicely composed shot, fine pov,
tfs & regards

  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2007-08-19 10:33]

Excellent shot Jose. I love this close up shot of the caterpillar. Great POV, sharp focus, lovely colours and excellent DOF



  • Great 
  • carmia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 231 W: 4 N: 144] (2240)
  • [2007-08-19 12:24]

Hola Jose, excelentes detalles y nitidez de esta bonita oruga . Un buen trabajo. Saludos. Carme.

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2007-08-19 21:11]

Hi Jose,

An amazing macro of this colorful caterpillar. The colors and the details are superb. The composition is wonderful with the diagonal stalk.


Hola José,
Bonita toma de esta bella oruga de macaón, gran nitidez y bonitos colores, le sienta muy bien ese fondo cálido, Saludos
José Ramón

Hello José,
Superb details and very attractive colours!
I love the strong diagonal in composition, the blurry background colour makes a fine enhancement of the insect!
Pablo -

Hola José.
Una buena macro, con muy buena resolución.
Los colores y los detalles perfectos.
Una buena nota.
Un saludo, JL.

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2007-08-21 0:19]

Hi Jose

Great diagobal composition. The lighting and colour are excellent also.


  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2007-08-21 2:32]

Hola José
Preciosa macro,
enorme bichito,
colorido y sensacional pov.
el trabajo hasta pasado septiembre me tendrá muy atareado,
(creo haber dado con la clave del LP...)

  • Great 
  • Isu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 313 W: 0 N: 21] (1663)
  • [2007-08-21 16:22]

Saludos Jose, bonita captura, precioso trabajo, detalles y color...Sira

Hola Jose !
Here in France we have rain and sometimeswe have to waer long sleeves, we have almost forgotten what hot weather looks like... leaves on the trees are turning yellow and the summer is ending before it has really begun... I envy you to have real summer ! :-) And the picture is wondeful ! I love the beautiful evening light. details, composition, POV and BG are wonderful too, as always on your pictures. Very well done !

bonjour josé
un peu plus de profondeur aurait ete utile pour avoir l'arriere aussi net que le devant,en revanche belles couleurs.bien vu pour la diagonale.

Hello Jose, wonderfull shot of this caterpillard, slendid colors and perfect focus with great details, lovely composition and very beautifull background,
well done,

he he,
uma bonito registo .... as cores estão perfeitas... A nitidez está muito boa! Fica bem Ana:)

Hello Jose a fabulous detailled colourfull shot with nice sharpness well composed tfs rgds Necip.

Excelente, Jose! You have arranged your composition and controlled your DOF well, bringing this vivid caterpillar to center stage. Great colors and detail, right down to the moisture on its back.

Hi Jose
The clarity and sharpness is great! Your caterpillar has a beautiful colour pattern. I to, feel for him in such hot temperatures. The lighting here is nice and soft and really brings out his colours. Well done and I wish you a few days of rain.
TFS Janice

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2007-09-04 18:02]

Hello Jose,
very nice close up of this caterpillar. You captured the colors and the details very well. Excellent DOF to keep this big fellow perfectly in focus.
Very nice work

Hi Jose!
Great picture with excellent sharpnessand nice colors.The orange points on the animal make a good contarst to the rest of the picture.
Thanks for sharing,Jonas

Muy buenas Jose
Me quedé con las ganas de ver las orugas y donde vivo sólo he visto una mariposa, sniffff, snifffff y mira que tengo ganas de "atizarlas" a estas bellezas, desde pequeño eran mis mariposas preferidas..... tendremos que esperar y ver tu "fotillo", preciosa por cierto.
Un abrazo.

very nice capture
very well focused and good detail
colours are fantastic
good job

What a colourful caterpillar, Jose!
Wonderful macro with great details.
The diagonal positioning of the subject crawling along a twig looks very beautiful.
I am really thrilled to see this picture which I missed earlier.
TFS and regards.

Hello Jose,

I was visiting a couple of galleries when this shot caught my eye. I don't know how big the beast is, but it really looks impressive here !

Good sharpness and focus on the head. And what colors I like the soft ambient light and warm background color.


  • Great 
  • Maite Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 998 W: 65 N: 1270] (5199)
  • [2007-09-30 13:09]

Vaya pedazo de oruga!! Encontrar un ejemplar de estos es todo un hallazgo.
Una foto genial.

Hola Jose.

Excelente imagen de una oruga muy colorista.

Jose Luis.

Hello Jose
Papilio Machaon is a beauty caterpillar
great diagonal with sharpness and focus
i have a photo of papilio in my gallery

best regards sERGIO

Hello Jose,
Thanks for the kind comments. You present here very beautiful and colourful caterpillar of P. machanon.
Very outstanding details and POV here, with very nice composition, also lovely natural colour and well focused as well.
Well captured and TFS,
Best wishes, Kevin
Have a good weekend!

Hi Jose,
I missed this one. Very nice close up. The image is crisp clear. The exposure is perfect despite the sunlight. Great color clarity. tfs this fine image.

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-01-18 8:10]

Hello Jose, very good macro of that caterpillar ! Great details, good exposure and great background. Well done, thanks !


  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2008-03-25 3:17]

Hola Jose,
Color tones, soft lighting, POV and composition are very nice. Gracias
Un saludo,

hi jose!
what a great caterpillar!
amazing colours and with
good sharpness and fine
well done!

Hallo Jose
This is surely a nice fat caterpillar, which you managed to capture very closely and with great sharpness. The detail is very clearly seen and you where lucky to capture this worm so close. I like the lime green colour and the red and black patterns and textures on the caterpillar. The fine hairs on the end of each paw is clear and displays well. Well seen and captured. Thanks for sharing, and have an enjoyable day.
Best regards

Ciao Josè!
Excellent macro.
Sharp image with great details.
Colors and light are excellent.
I appreciate very much this papillo...
Well done!

good to see the caterpillar of this fantastic colored butterfly.
background very good to accent the caterpillar but focus a bit off and also there is some overexposure on the upper part of the caterpillar


Wohhho nice picture. I like the caterpillars and this is beautifull, I think that colors are fantastic,its constracts are great!.
Speaking about your picture:
Very nice close up shot, very good focus!, and good POV. Somebody mention the bad light. I dont know why is it not good!. I'm not proffesional but for me the light is gooood.
Thx!!!, and best regards from [Tandil - Bs As - Argentina]

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