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Papilio machaon larva

Papilio machaon larva
Photo Information
Copyright: Nikos Roditakis (NikosR) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 76 W: 3 N: 447] (3436)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2015-05-29
Categories: Insects
Camera: Olympus mini E-PM1, 60mm Olympus Zuiko
Exposure: f/4.5, 1/250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2015-06-16 4:52
Viewed: 901
Points: 14
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Papilio machaon Linnaeus 1758
Lepidoptera: Papilionidae
Common name: Swallowtail

Papilio machaon is widespread and common in Crete as in many countries of the world. It lays eggs on tall plants. The young caterpillar is black, marked with a band of white. I posted an image of 1rst instar larva in WS. It looks remarkably like a small bird-dropping as it rests openly on the leaves. This camouflage is not effective against spiders, which may predate up to 65% of 1st instar larvae. When fully grown in July, the caterpillar is a most magnificent creature - bright green, marked with narrow black bands and orange spots (see image). Behind it's head is an eversible fleshy pink forked structure called an osmaterium, which is raised if the larva is irritated. This structure emits pungent chemicals, capable of deterring ants, wasps, and flies, but does not deter birds - reed buntings, sedge warblers and bearded tits between them devouring at least 50% of mature larvae.

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Critiques [Translate]

Quite an impressive Caterpillar of a spectacular butterfly, Nikos.
Nice diagonal composition and attractive colours on the subject.
Thanks and regards.

Hallo Jose,
Beautiful caterpillar of a butterfly and nice composition.


Ciao Nikos, great macro of fantastic larva, fine details, wonderful colors and splendid sharpness, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2015-06-16 16:47]

Hello Nikos,
A wonderful presentation of this gorgeous Old World Swallowtail caterpillar. I love the beautiful markings and the colors are vivid yet natural. Nicely composed and displaying good detail. Exposure is right on the money. Except for some minor color differences it reminds me a lot of the Black Swallowtail caterpillar. Great shot!!

Hello Nikos
caterpillar of papilio Machaon are very colorful, and you have captured this one perfectly with good light
Have a good night

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2015-06-16 23:55]

Hello Nikos,
A wonderful capture of this Caterpillar. It is so sharp that every detail is evident. I like the diagonal comp.Regards Sigi

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2015-06-17 12:36]

Hi Nikos,you post the caterpillar and me the butterfly that finally i meet today...ehehe...this is one of the most beautiful caterpillars,magnificent colors and design,and i never seen that in my life.Very useful post in the WS whit the small one too.Have a nice evening and thanks,Luciano

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