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Apatura iris.

Apatura iris.
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter Stoeckl (peter_stoeckl) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1738 W: 291 N: 4005] (11530)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-06-17
Categories: Insects
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC-H5
Exposure: f/4, 1/500 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Alex99 favorite photos, Vienna Woods - Biosphaerenpark Wienerwald [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-01-04 4:32
Viewed: 10119
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 100
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Apatura iris (Linnaeus, 1758)

Purple Emperor,
Grosser Schillerfalter,
Stor Skimmerfjaeril,
Le Grand Mars,

Family: Nymphalidae
Subfamily: Apaturinae

Wingspan approx. 75mm.

Seen from a certain narrow angle in bright sunshine, male Emperor butterflies show a strong blue iridescence on the upper side of their wings, caused by thin layers of surface structure on their dark brown scales. The scales on the males' wings possess complicated fir-tree-shaped microscopic structures within a micrometer's range which select a narrow band of light frequencies – obviously in order to emit a strong signal of male dominance to male competitors, and of male attractivity to the opposite sex.

For more information on the phenomenon of interference of wavelenghths of light with this particular species, please see the detailed description in here.

Female Emperors show dark brown scales without any blue iridescence, and may be observed on the ground on rare occasions only. They are said to prefer staying high up in the top regions of their feeding trees.

Male Emperors love to present their shining wings sitting on protruding branches in the lower regions of trees, on guard to see what’s going on around – ready to take off to chase away any kind of intruder: other butterflies, birds, even photographers. And most possibly they seem to be ready for the rare occasion of a female of their species showing up to have a drink on the ground - to dart towards her as the first lucky guy to do so.

The picture was taken in the early summer of 2007 at the marshy borders of the Rohrwald forest near the town of Korneuburg, a few miles to the northwest of Vienna. In those prematurely hot days of June 2007 with temperatures in the mid 30s (97°F), that location was a very good but exhausting place to study Emperor butterflies. On the path along the forest border there were dozens of them chasing each other or sitting on the ground or in the trees, blinking in the sun – both species: The rather rare and solitary Purple Emperor (Apatura iris), and the closely related Lesser Purple Emperor (Apatura ilia) that is more regularly to be met in groups.

By the way – the unrolled proboscis: Both species of Emperor butterflies will hardly ever be seen visiting flowers. They prefer to suck liquids from wet spots on the ground, and aphids’ sweet secretions from leaves.

Iris caterpillars live on willows (Salix). The butterflies can be seen from late June through July in one generation, never far away from the trees where they breed. The species is reported from a few locations in Portugal and Spain (Sierra de Guadarrama) through France and the southern UK, into central and eastern Europe, going as for north as Denmark, the Baltic states, southern Finland - and southern Sweden (Scania - thanks, Ivan!). In the mountains, it will follow river valleys up to approximately 1200 meters above sealevel. The species is missing in the southern parts of the European continent.

The camera:
SONY DSC-H5, 3072 x 2304 pixel, sRGB, 64mm tele macro zoom (equivalent 384mm at full size SLR), F/4, 1/500 sec., exposure bias -0.3, ISO-125, hand held from a distance of 1.5m, no flash. 17.06.2007, 14:47.

Photoshop Elements. Slightly cropped, downsized to web, selectively resharpened.

Thank you for looking.
Have a very good end of the week.

Argus, marhowie, valy67, uleko, anel, phlr, fartash, mariki, marcellr, dejo, Maite, Alex99, earthtraveler, Ena, red45, nirmalroberts, mirceax, Necipp, Juyona, accassidy, scottevers7, JoseMiguel, taba, rousettus, Isu, Silvio2006, horia, TAZ, meyerd, magiqa, cicindela, vanderschelden, Dillinger has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Dillinger: ... chasing birds and photographerspeter_stoeckl 1 09-21 15:40
To TAZ: ... carnival in Venicepeter_stoeckl 1 02-25 11:45
To horia: ... us nature-admirerspeter_stoeckl 1 02-16 07:11
To meyerd: "Der Schillerfalter"peter_stoeckl 1 02-10 08:14
To rousettus: Thank you!peter_stoeckl 1 01-20 11:14
To Tobias__Ortmann: der eine blau der ander braun ...peter_stoeckl 1 01-20 11:13
To taba: Thank you!peter_stoeckl 1 01-20 10:14
To valy67: ... das schöne Blau.peter_stoeckl 1 01-18 11:56
To anel: ... viel Glück für 2008!peter_stoeckl 1 01-05 05:02
To Argus: Scaniapeter_stoeckl 1 01-04 04:47
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Critiques [Translate]

Excellent image Peter. This one makes you sing :)
Just beautiful, I especially like way the light has lit-up the iridescence of the left inner wing..and that coiled probiscus takes it over the top!

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-01-04 4:38]
  • [+]

Hello Peter,
I just opened the gallery to see this beauty.
A fantastic capture of a male A. iris at just the right angle and POV. superb sharpness, composition ans lighting.
This is a species that has come to sweden about 15 years ago and is now slowly spreading in Scania, but I have yet to take a good photograph of it. I have a blue car and when it is clean it it may attract a male like this one, but to photograph it on a leaf like this is a dream for me!
Thanks for shring this one and have a good 2008!

Hallo Peter !
Was für ein wunderschönes Bild ! Die Farben auf dem Schmätterling sind ganz toll, besonders das schöne Blau. Die Details sind perfekt, wie auch die Komposition und der POV. Der Schmätterling sitzt so schön auf seinem Blatt, und mir gefällt auch diese lange aufgerollte Zunge. Sehr sehor schön !

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  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-01-04 5:15]

Hello Peter,
Perfect photo from last summer. Amazing colours and details. Very beautiful light, composition, POV and DOF.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-01-04 5:21]

Hello Peter,
What a fabulous capture you've kept back until now! This is an outstanding capture of this wonderful butterfly that only occurs in a couple of places here in the south of Sweden - I've not seen it yet! I can't imagine a better view of this beauty, you've caught it in a perfect position showing the iridecsence of the wings and details are razor sharp. I like the light-coloured proboscis too!
Many thanks and best wishes, Ulla

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  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2008-01-04 5:24]
  • [+]

Guten Tag Peter,
Das Jahr fängst Du so schön an mit diesem Grossen Schillerfalter
den Du perfekt auf diesem Bild dargestellt hast. Glück hattest Du so viele dieser schönen Schmetterlinge zu sehen. Viel Glück möchte ich Dir zum neuen Jahr auch noch wünschen.
Mein Laptop ist nach Weihnachten abgestürzt und alle meine Fotos möglicherweise verloren. So werde ich noch länger von TN abwesend sein, werde mir aber von Zeit zu Zeit die Bilder auf TN ansehen auf dem Computer meines Sohnes (wenn er es zulässt!)
Herzliche Grüsse

Hello Peter
Excellent shot of this Apatura iris,
Great focusing,exposure and composition,Welldone.

Good Luck

Exelente foto uma maravilha de imagem muito bem focada e cores super agradaveis meus parabéns.

  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2008-01-04 6:05]

Hi Peter,

Once again the perfect butterfly from yourside,I never seen it before in realtime,but as sen from your picture this is a beaty that I hope to meet once,tfs


Hello Peter,

Splendid capture of this butterfly. Great sharpness. Very nice composition. The colours are spectacular.
Thanks for sharing,

Ciao Peter,
sei riuscito a realizzare una foto davvero magnifica a questa splendida specie.
L'iridescenza blu sulle ali è riprodotta in modo eccellente!
Complimenti sinceri,

Hi Peter,
Thanks for sharing this superb specie and wonderful capture! Composition, details, exposure and colors are superb! I'm amazed by this blue spot on only one of its wings. This specie is a real beauty! Happy New Year to you and your loved ones!

  • Great 
  • dejo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 344 W: 51 N: 520] (2242)
  • [2008-01-04 7:30]

Hello Peter,
wonderful post, fantastic details captured, great colors & DOF
great work
Best regards, Dejan

Beautiful capture, Peter
Excellent, POV, color, and comp.
Can't forget the superb detail and light also.
And the probiscus! Super shot.

  • Great 
  • Maite Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 998 W: 65 N: 1270] (5199)
  • [2008-01-04 8:18]

Hello Peter
Excellent capture of this beautiful Apatura with so beautiful colors. You captured the iridiscence so well! I find it super curious also the color of its proboscis. Great shot and very interesting note.
Congratulations and TFS

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-01-04 8:27]

Hi, dear Peter.
I am very pleased with your so heart wishes and comments and I am proud that my dear friend have multitude so outstanding photos as this one. It is simply fantastic by subject, by beautifulness of the butterfly and scenery, by taste of its author and its skill. POV is amazing as well as the detail and colour reproduction. Composition, framing, DOF, timing are precise. Note is perfect too. Bravo and many thanks.

  • Great 
  • batu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1079 W: 293 N: 4497] (16383)
  • [2008-01-04 9:18]

Guten Abend Peter,
100 Punkte - das dürfte genügen! Dein Bild zeigt 'alle' Besonderheiten dieses Falters in beeindruckender Weise, mit großartiger Tiefenschärfe und Brillianz:
blauer Flügelschiller, grüne Augen, gelblicher Rüssel und orangebraune Fühlerspitzen. Spitze!
Schöne Grüße, Peter

  • Great 
  • Ena Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 324 W: 61 N: 594] (2454)
  • [2008-01-04 9:33]

Hi Peter,
Great shot!
Beautiful colors and composition!
Good POV!

Hello Peter,
Perfect and excellent image to me!
the sharpness is just awesome with total details in the shot!
the exposure and focus is also perfect!!
top quality presentation indeed
wishing you well

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2008-01-04 9:54]

Hi Peter!

One of the best shots of Emperor I've ever seen! Lovely pose with one wing brown and another shinning blue. Perfect! No need to write about note - as always long and very interesting. I can add that I was lucky and saw this butterfly two or three times in my life :-)

Hello Peter,
Great details. Fantastic colours.
Thanks for sharing.
- Nirmal

bonjour peter
j'ai eu l'occasion de voir ce papillon en 2007,j'ai trouvé extra ses couleurs chageantes en fonction des rayons du soleil et cette photos en est l'illustration parfaite.

Hi Peter,
A perfect capture of this beautiful species. I love the wing metalic reflection, the diagonal composition and the beautiful colours.



Hello Peter, a superb sharp detailed shot fine composition and overall quality, my best wishes for the new yr rgds Necip.

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2008-01-04 13:03]

the pic talk alone. 2 points and thanks a lot for share,Luciano

Hello Peter,
Just magnificent. Nothing more to say. Bravo.

Hi Peter,
This is a superb capture. I love how the angle of the light shows the amazing color of the wing. Spot on exposure. The colors and detail are really great. Another amazing shot from you. Well done!

the shot is just perfect !
nothing to improve

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  • wuta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 855 W: 2 N: 617] (2142)
  • [2008-01-05 13:40]

Hello Peter , A very nice one , good light and fine point of vieuw ,the details and colours ar fantastic ,greetings teunie ,And the best wishes for you and the famely .

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  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2008-01-05 22:46]

What a wonderful Iris butterfly - and brillianly coloured like an Iris flower too. Isn't it amazing how the wings can show different colours on the wings like this.
Well seen and captured Peter,

Bonjour Peter
C'est une très belle macro, couleurs, netteté et cadrage sont au top. Un sujet exceptionel que j'ai jamais observé avec de très bon commentaire comme toujours.
Amicalement Robi

Hi Peter,
This is an amazing capture!
I like a lot the angle used to show us the particular effect got with the light incidence on its wings.
It's so interesting and fascinating at the same time.
Technical side is, like always, impeccable.
A lovely composition on a sunny day. What else can be asked for?
My compliments and thanks for post it.
Warm regards,

  • Great 
  • taba Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 466 W: 124 N: 312] (1847)
  • [2008-01-11 2:35]
  • [+]

Hallo Peter
Very good capture showing the rflexes of the wings of the butterfly !
your portfolio is very good !

Hi peter
super Bild mit genialer schärfe und schönen Farben
sehr schönen schmetterling den du hier gefunden hast
vorallem die verschieden farbenen flügel
der ein blau der ander braun gefällt mir sehr

Hello Peter,
I fallow always your great captures. This is also great with excellent details, sharpness and composition. great POV and lighting. splendid coloration. good notes. Thanks. best wishes

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  • Isu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 313 W: 0 N: 21] (1663)
  • [2008-01-18 12:04]

Hola peter, fantastica foto de calidad, bellos colores, bellos detalles muy nitidoz. Sira

Hi Peter, splendid butterfly with wonderful bright colors and excellent sharpness, superb details, very well done, ciao Silvio

I had to go back to this fantastic image of one of the most attractive butterflies I have ever seen, Peter. Thanks for that link on your latest picture.
I am stunned and delighted at the beauty of this superb picture.
Thanks for sharing and writing such an informative note on the species.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2008-01-21 6:30]
  • [+]

Hi Peter

It seems i've missed some very beautiful shots from you while i was busy with some exams, but coming back now i took a great pleasure enjoying your gallery, my friend!
I choose this one out of them all because it reminds me of one of my first butterfly posts here on TN - the same species shot from a very similar angle.
The iridescence phenomenon is one of rare beauty and the way some animals manage to display it makes us nature-admirers just stare at them :)
Your capture here is lovely and presents the Purple Emperor with very nice sharp details and - obviously - superb colors.
Very good exposure balance and excellent DOF, too.
Wonderful work overall!

Bravo and TFS

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  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2008-01-29 22:34]
  • [+]

Hello my European Friend,
Wow ! What a pleasure for eyes during the winter. This species is so lovely and you capture him very well. Superb iridescence of the wing.
Bravo Peter and TFS.
Note : Friday I will go for 3 days at Venice in Italia for the famous carnival. It is not Nature but it is also beautiful for eyes ;-)

Lieber Peter,

ein so seltener Anblick, und Dir ist der perfekte Schuss gelungen: der Falter sitzt nicht einfach auf dem Boden oder mit gefalteten Flügeln, nein, auf Grünzeug und nicht zuoberst in den Baumkronen!

Die ganze Zeit geht mir die Frage durch den Kopf, welcher Dichter die Lesebuchgeschichte "Der Schillerfalter" verfasst hat. Du siehst, seit meiner Primarschulzeit lässt mich dieser Schmetterling nicht mehr los.

Mit herzlichem Gruss

Wings like velvet, and what wonderful colours. A great photo of a small creature!

Simplemente impresionante. Ya te lo han dicho casi todo, pero es que la toma es fabulosa.
Un abrazo: J. Ignasi

Very good image, Peter.
Amazing optical phenomenon if you compare the upper with the lower wing.
I like the overall sharpness.
Very good pro note.

Dear Peter,
It was long time ago when I visited your gallery last time...
Now I see how nice and beautiful pictures I have overlooked.
I like a lot pose of this Apatura species. Especially its mouthparts look great for me (very good timing!). As always technique is very good and note interesting and informative.
Additional "bonus" for light control. I do not know if it is a result of sunlight of natural colours of tis insect, but its wings have different colouration! :)
All the best!

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2008-03-01 14:30]

Hola Peter,
precioso trabajo y delicada composición,
me agrada esta macro...
bonitos color y composición,

Bonjour Peter,
Je n'ai jamais rencontré ce papillon, et je te remercie pour cette splendide prise de vue.
Il est magnifique, mais ta photo est superbe

This is a fascinating image, and excellent note, Peter. I never knew how complex a butterfly's wings could be. You've done an excellent job capturing and explaining this visual phenomenon. Amazing, too, how fearless the males are, chasing birds and photographers away!

Thanks for sharing.

Hello Peter.

Excellent image, nice composition and colors.
Very good details.

Jose luis.

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  • Zet (24)
  • [2010-06-16 8:30]

So nice


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