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Pararge aegeria - Madeira.

Pararge aegeria - Madeira.
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: 2005-08-23
Categories: Insects
Camera: Nikon Coolpix 4600
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): European Butterflies 2 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-01-14 5:11
Viewed: 5628
Points: 18
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Pararge aegeria aegeria (Linnaeus, 1758)

Speckled Wood, Waldbrettspiel, Bont zandoogje, Kvickgräsfjäril, le Tircis, Egeria, Maculada.

Wing span 38 – 44 mm

This species is widely spread and common in most parts of Europe from Southern Scandinavia to the south. It can be observed in deciduous forest. Several generations from March to October. The pattern of their wings provide a good camouflage in the dim speckled light conditions of their habitation. Caterpillars feed on grass (e.g. Poa, Brachypodium).

Wide spread as it is, there may be nothing special about showing that species to TN. But there is. The picture was taken in the island of Madeira.

A one time volcanic island, emerging some 4 Millions years ago out of the Atlantic ocean, Madeira has never had any connection to the mainland. Morocco is about 700 km away, Portugal even 1000 km. So the ancestors of every butterfly observed on Madeira must have arrived after passing a large distance from the mainland. No wonder that the diversity of butterfly species is very limited in spite of the subtropical climate and the lush vegetation of the island. Only 14 species of butterflies are reported to live on Madeira. Regions of comparable size even in much cooler central Europe show at least ten times that number. P. aegeria is one of these few species to be found on Madeira.

But it was never seen on Madeira before 1967, when it was discovered at the edge of the mountain forest at Monte, near the city of Funchal. Only since 1976, the newly arrived species is reported to be common and wide spread in Madeira’s secondary eucalypt and pine forests.

Most other butterfly species reported from Madeira are strong fliers with migratory habit, such as the Monarch (Danaus plexippus) or the Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui). These species seem to cross the open ocean quite frequently. Pararge aegeria is a weak flier, however. Maybe strong winds have drifted a few individuals from Portugal over the sea, back in 1967.

Or maybe the Beatles brought them over to Madeira together with Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Lonely Heart Club Band on board of their private yacht that can still be seen in the harbour of Funchal.

The picture was taken on Madeira, hiking along a levada near Monte. August 23, 2005, using a small pocket size camera: Nikon CoolPix 4600, with integrated macro-zoom.

Thank you for looking.

wallhalla15, petrudamsa, phlr, Merlin, thistle, extramundi has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To extramundi: Nice to meet you, Felipe.peter_stoeckl 1 01-29 11:24
To Merlin: P. aegeria, Madeirapeter_stoeckl 2 01-14 17:17
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Critiques [Translate]

Hallo Peter, sehr schönes "Waldbrettspiel" (toller, passender Name) hast Da da abgelichtet. Ich habe diesen Schmetterling leider noch nicht vor die Linse bekommen. Sehr scharfes Foto mit guter Tiefenschärfe. Danke für dieses schöne Foto.

looks really good, Peter. Good details.
We have a subspecies in Romania too: same wing pattern, just a bit darker.

Regards, Petru

  • Great 
  • phlr Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1237 W: 130 N: 882] (2821)
  • [2006-01-14 6:02]

Excellent photo of this common Satyridae!
Perfect on details!
Very good natural colours!
Great POV!
Excellent BG!

  • Great 
  • jossim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1538 W: 5 N: 2240] (12636)
  • [2006-01-14 6:02]

Une superbe lumière Peter!

L'éclairage est parfait et fait bien ressortir les couleurs et détails du papillon.

Félicitations et merci pour l'envoie.


Interesting note - is this species replacing the endemic Maderian Speckled Wood Pararge xiphia?
Nice photograph, but was it taken with flash or strong sunlight and shadow? There's a lot of reflection off the brown scaling which robs it of some detail and makes it look paler than "natural." If done a very quick workshop on it - hope you like..
Thanks, Nigel.

Lovely shot Peter !
I see you have Nikon CP 4600. I have very simillar camera. They maybe are small and look inconspicuous, but they are good macro tools.
Your picture is good example. Sharpnes is very good, just as the colours and lighting.
Well done on this one!

Hi Peter

No time to give a proper critique. Sneaking this in from work. Just a big green smiley!

  • Great 
  • RII Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 481 W: 0 N: 895] (2862)
  • [2006-01-16 4:18]

Hi Peter.
excellent composition, I like contrast and colors,nice photo.

Hi Peter.
I see that not only Paulo has posted this one before. With my lack of time I am missing wonderfull photos like this one, and like the rest in your gallery. I had a good time looking :)
Nice to meet you and thanks very much for sharing, Felipe.

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