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Pipevine Swallowtail

Pipevine Swallowtail
Photo Information
Copyright: CJ Vincent (C_J) Silver Note Writer [C: 1 W: 0 N: 125] (459)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-09-24
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon 400D Digital Rebel XTi, Canon Macro Lens EF 180 mm 1:3.5 L USM
Exposure: f/7.1, 1/1000 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-09-24 19:19
Viewed: 3802
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 34
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
CJ's Desert Dwellers: Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly Battus philenor

Length:70-112 mm (2.75 - 4.5in)
Wingspan: 106 mm (4.25 in)
Family: Papilionidae
Range:AZ, CA, NZ, UT, CO, NM, generally below 2,000 meters (6,000 ft) elevation

Key Field marks: upperhind wing iridescent blue with ONE ROW of submarginal spots, underhind wing iridescent blue with one row of roundish orange spots (pictured)

More than 600 species worldwide, but fewer than 30 species occur in North America.

This insect, the Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly Battus philenor, matures from a caterpillar that only feeds on Pipevine or Indian Root Aristolochia watsonii. Pipevine is found throughout most of southern Arizona and Sonora, Mexico. Seeing the butterfly tells the experienced naturalist that the plant is likely nearby. The conspicuous caterpillar is red with fleshy tubercles.

The host plant has a chemical called aristolochoic acid which most herbivorous insects find distasteful. The larva of the Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly is unaffected and stores the acid. It is passes on to the pupa and adult, which, because of it's unpleasant flavor, helps deter predation.

This Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly Battus philenor, is nectaring on a Scarlet Sage salvia coccinea.

Slight Crop
ISO 400

bobair, Patleboss, jcoowanitwong, sandpiper2, Luis52 has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi CJ,
superb capture you have uploaded.The detail in this shot is very fine and the colours are very vivid.I like the contrast of the butterfly's colour with the red of the flowers.This photo is nicely cropped and balanced.Thanks for showing this one. Bob

Nicely done! Love the iridescent blue. perfect comp. and DOF.

Hello CJ, I had never yet seen this splendid butterfly, the colors splendid and are very well contrasted, the background is very pretty and the adorable pose, very beautiful artistic composition and a good instructive note.
well done, tanks for sharing,

Hello CJ,
The color and marking of this swallowtail is wonderful. Your shot is crisp clear and well seen. TFS,

Hello CJ,

Stunning image with excellent detail, stunning dof and pov and nice composition.

Kind regards,


Hi CJ,
Stunning image with excellent colours and details.
great one

beautifull butterfly
great BG but above all fantastic sharpness and lovely compo
great tfs

What a lovely capture of color, sharpness and beauty. A very nice composition and detailed picture. Very nice.

  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2007-09-25 2:29]

Hi CJ,

This is a really colorfull swallowtail,well presented with good POV and sharpness,tfs


Cool shot of this interesting butterfly, a new one for me.
I like the POV and sharpness, great colours.


  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2007-09-25 7:30]

Hola CJ. Bellos colores en azul metalico de las alas de esta hermosa Mariposa. Gran claridad y nitiez lograda aqui. Luis52.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2007-09-25 10:54]

Hello CJ,
What a great contrasting colours with a perfect BG and DOF. Fantastic details, POV and composition. Should he has control about all this feet?
TFS, Peter

  • Great 
  • meyerd Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 585 W: 64 N: 2238] (7531)
  • [2007-09-25 11:37]

Dear Vincent (since you don't reveal your name)

I like this picture despite a problem it has: the lighting is complex, from the right and below. This makes for the strong iridescence of the underwing and of an unusual lighting pattern on the plant. But all is well otherwise

My best regards,

  • Great 
  • gail Gold Star Critiquer [C: 78 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-10-28 9:52]

Pretty color combination. Nice clarity.
P.S. Here is your smiley face that I had run out of!

  • Great 
  • deud Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 438 W: 11 N: 534] (2540)
  • [2008-07-23 0:55]

great shot! beautiful and colorful insect! nice composition. very well done. tfs

Hi CJ,

Beatiful colours. Nice composition. Gorgeous picture.


amazing swallowtail, TFS Ori

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