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Common Rose Swallowtail

Common Rose Swallowtail
Photo Information
Copyright: Ram Thakur (ramthakur) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4316 W: 231 N: 14052] (56953)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-08-14
Categories: Insects
Camera: Nikon D200, Sigma EX 105mm F2.8 DG Macro, 58mm UV
Exposure: f/4.5, 1/1000 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2009-06-02 5:41
Viewed: 4120
Points: 42
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Since I do not have any fresh captures to share at the moment, I have dug out this picture of a Common Rose butterfly from my archives.
Hope you find it interesting.

The Common Rose (Atrophaneura (Pachliopta) aristolochiae) is a swallowtail butterfly belonging to the Pachliopta subgenus, the Roses, of the genus Atrophaneura or Red-bodied Swallowtails. It is a common butterfly which is extensively distributed across South and South East Asia.


It is widely distributed in Asia. Afghanistan, Pakistan, India(includes Andaman islands) , Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Japan (south-western Okinawa only), Laos, Vietnam, Kampuchea(now Cambodia), Nicobar islands, peninsular and eastern Malaysia, Brunei, Philippines (Palawan and Leyte), Indonesia.

In China, it is distributed in southern and eastern China (including Hainan, Guangdong province), Hong Kong and Taiwan. In Indonesia, it is distributed in Sumatra, Nias, Enggano, Bangka, Java, Bali, Kangean, Lombok, Sumbawa, Sumba, Flores, Tanahjampea and Kalimantan.


The Upperside of male is velvety black.

Fore wing with well-marked pale adnervular streaks on the discal area that do not reach the terminal margin, the latter broadly velvety black; the streaks beyond end of cell extended inwards into its apex.

Hind wing with elongate white discal markings in interspaces 2-5 beyond the cell.

In dry-weather specimens these markings are very short and do not nearly reach the bases of the interspaces; beyond these a curved series of subterminal lunular markings in interspaces 1 to 7 dull crimson irrorated with black scales, the spot in interspace 1 large, irregular, diffuse, margined interiorly with white.
On the Underside of the males, the ground-colour and markings are similar, but the red subterminal spots on the hind wing are much brighter;it is not irrorated with black scales, better defined, the anterior four subquadrate, the next two crescentic, sometimes quadrate also, the spot in interspace 1 triangular and pointed. Antennae, thorax and abdomen above up to the preanal segment black; the head, sides of prothorax above, and of the whole of the thorax and abdomen beneath vermilion-red; anal segment vermilion-red.

Female is similar to the males; it differs from the male only in the comparatively broader wings and this is most conspicuous in the fore wing.


An excellent generalist which has adapted to a range of habitats, the butterfly has been found in congregations at lower elevations. The Common Rose is found up to 8000 feet in the Western Ghats and South Indian Hills, up to 5000 feet at the Eastern end of the Himalayas but only up to 3000 feet in the North Western Himalayas. The butterfly is a common visitor to Indian gardens and can even be found in crowded urban areas.


It is the commonest of the large tailed butterflies of India and one of the most interesting butterflies for the Indian amateur naturalist to observe.

The red body, slow peculiar flight, bright colouration and pattern of the wings are meant to indicate to predators that this butterfly is inedible, being well protected by the poisons it has sequestered from its larval food plant. It also emits a nasty smelling substance when handled to further enhance its unappealing qualities. Hence it is rarely attacked by predators, a strategy so successful, that edible butterflies have evolved to mimic it, the classical example being that of the female morph of the Common Mormon that is Papilio polytes, female form stichius.

The Common Rose frequently visits flowers such as Lantana, Cosmos, Zinnia, Jatropha and Clerodendron. The butterfly occasionally also visits wet patches. In parts of Sri Lanka, the males are known to congregate and form a beautiful sight while mud-puddling.

The Common Rose is active much earlier in the mornings than most butterflies and remains so throughout the day until dusk. It flies just as readily in the shade as in the sun, and frequently visits flowers.


cirano, mustafatavsiz, jlinaresp, briGG, livius, XOTAELE, goldyrs, goutham_ramesh, red45, valy67, Alex99, Noisette, anel has marked this note useful
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To goutham_ramesh: Hiramthakur 1 06-02 23:36
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • cirano Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 997 W: 0 N: 944] (13609)
  • [2009-06-02 5:45]

Hello Ram,
A wonderful macro shot.Excellent sharpness adn details.Nice colors and composition.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2009-06-02 5:53]

Hello Ram,
Perfect photo of this colourful butterfly on the flower. The clarity is gorgeous. Perfect saturation. Very beautiful OOF BG, POV and composition. Excellent sharpness and details.

Hello Ram,
Another wonderful shot from you .
Excellent artistic composition of beatiful butterfly on a flower.
Thanks for sharing .

Hello, great picture. Congratulations.

Hi Ram,
nice shot with very beautiful colors.
Good sharpness and POV
TFS Tatjana

very nice focus, sharpness. most of all i love the bokeh.

Splendid capture, nice colours and sharpness, great focus and lighting. I like so much the pose
Best wishes,

hello Ram
great composition beautiful colour and great sharpness
greeting lou

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2009-06-02 9:34]

Hi Sir,
Outstanding shot of this beautiful Crimson Rose on the zinnia flower. Immaculate sharpness and lovely colours and I like this classic pose captured. Excellent DOF and composition. Kudos.

Hello Sir,
This is nice macro of butterfly. I find it very difficult to capture as it is very active and flies fast. TFS - Regards - Adil.

  • Great 
  • briGG Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 195 W: 2 N: 344] (1823)
  • [2009-06-02 11:14]

Hello Ram,

Vous avez de belles archives!
Quel magnifique papillon de Malaisie! Ce rouge et noir bien tranché, bien net est très agréable à regarder. L'œil est attiré par les fines pattes et les antennes de l'insecte.
La fleur rose est aussi bien nette avec de minutieux détails en son coeur. L'ensemble est une réussite (comme d'habitude)
Bonne fin de journée.


  • Great 
  • livius Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 300 W: 0 N: 391] (1525)
  • [2009-06-02 11:59]

Hello Ram
bella cornice su questa Common Rose ritratta nel migliore dei modi, sia per la luce che per la nitidezza dei dettagli ed il contrasto tra i diversi colori della composizione: risalta a riguarda molto il nero delle bellissime ali della piccola farfalla sullo sfondo e sul corpo screziato di rosso. Ottima la messa a fuoco anche sul piccolo fiore di cui sei riuscito a mettere in risalto tutti i dettagli colorati del suo "cuore" di cui la farfalla si nutre.

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2009-06-02 13:47]

Hi Ram,i can't believe that a beauty like that sleep a year in your hard disk.This is great!! A impressive beauty of nature and a fantastic sharpness and colors for a best result as possible.Just my great compliments....have a nice day,LUCIANO

hello Ram!
great composition with this amazing butterfly
red and black,perfect definition and good management of color and light

best sERGIO

Hola amigo.
Genial encuadre y fabuloso colorido.
Buen bg y acertada exposición.
Saludos, JL.

Ram,This is one of the most beautiful butterflies that you can find in our beautiful country; you have executed this shot well and I like it in spite of the fact that the butterfly looks like a veteran :-).The directional space and the flowers adds to the beauty. A little higher f stop than f/4.5 would have given better DOF and do you compensate exposure when you shoot?

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2009-06-02 23:56]

Hello Ram!

You've got fantastic butterflies in Rajasthan! This one is real gem. Stylish black and red colours and royal family. Lovely composition with perfectly detailed bitterfly and colorfull flower. Superb picture my friend!

Hello am !
You are digging our treasures from your archives ! This one is absolutely gorgeous, I love the colors, the markings and the pose of the butterfly. The combination of butterfly and flowers makes a lovely scenerey. I also like the sharp details, the warm and sunny colors, the composition, the blurred BG. Very well done !

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2009-06-03 11:52]

Hi Ram.
First I am very touched with your heartfelt greetings and kind comments. I am very glad to have here such kind friend. Just about such persons I was written in my note at last shot. I also like to watch your amazing shots. This one is sweet. Pictured scene cannot be better. Both flower and butterfly are wonderful. However, BG is so fine as main subject. Quality of the image is outstanding. Brilliant close-up. Bravo.

Hello Ram
another beauty from your archives, this black and red swallowtail is wonderful
great détails and nice pose on pink zinnia flowervery well done

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2009-06-04 5:51]

Hello Ram,
Having been absent, I missed this fine butterfly-picture. You have found here the ideal combination of a beautiful flower attracting a special butterfly. All is very colorful and illuminated by subtle light. Picture which is well composed and with a just-right sharpness. Très beau!
Kind regards

WOW! sir!
I am stunned!
This is simply awesome!

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