<< Previous Next >>


Photo Information
Copyright: Anna Eksteen (Miss_Piggy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2285 W: 5 N: 5300] (18714)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2011-09-30
Categories: Insects
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC HX1, Sony G lens 20x Optical zoom, Digital ISO 125
Exposure: f/4, 1/800 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): South American Butterflies 4 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2012-02-05 0:03
Viewed: 3576
Points: 66
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Pirate / Catacroptera cloanthe cloanthe

I really admire all the talented butterfly photographers on the site. I now realise that it is not so easy to photograph these kaleidoscopic insects, as they have way too much energy and just won't sit still for a moment.

One of our 1st places we stopped while being on vacation was the Oribi Gorge where I captured this beautiful Pirate butterfly. It was not easy to start with as I followed it for quite some time before it came to rest on the ground. I took shots from a distance, moving a bit closer, taking a few shots and moved as close as I could possibly get. It surely was my lucky day as eventually it was basking in the sun with its wings opened wide giving me enough time to take some close-ups. To me personally a butterfly looks much more spectacular with open wings so one can admire and appreciate all its dazzling beauty.

This butterfly taken in its wet season colours is a Trek Nature 1st and trying to find some Internet information on it was difficult. I found a few photos and only some checklists of butterflies which included this species, but no notes about it at all. Never the less, what I can tell you about this 'Pirate' is the following

Phylum: Arthropoda (Invertebrates)
Class: Insecta (Insects)
Order: Lepidoptera (Butterflies & moths)
Family: Nymphalidae (Four-footed butterflies)
Genus: Catacroptera

Male: 50-58mm. Female: 55-62mm.

Unmistakable. Sexes are similar. Dry season colours are dark ground colour and chocolate-brown underside. The underwings are in contrast often dull and look remarkably like dead leaves. Wet season colours has golden brown underside, with more conspicuous submarginal eye spots. Noticeable; often close to streams and springs. One of the earliest highveld butterflies in spring. Males are strongly territorial, sitting on prominent patch of bare earth, chasing away intruders.

In adult butterflies the first pair of legs are small or reduced and functionally impotent, giving the family the other names of four-footed or brush-footed butterflies. The caterpillars are hairy or spiky with projections on the head, and the chrysalids have shiny spots.

Common in Grassland and grassy Savanna from Western Cape (Mosselbay) along mountains into Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Lesotho, Free State, Gauteng, Limpopo and North West provinces, and Mpumalanga.

Wetlands, hillsides.

Flight period
Year-round in warmer areas; mainly September – April in cool zones.

Larval food
Justicia protracta, Ruellia cordata and Chaetacanthus setiger.

Taken from the book: Field Guide to Butterflies of South Africa - Steve Woodhall, Published by Struik Publishers.

I hope you enjoy looking at this photo as much as I took pleasure in taking it.

vanda, aljy, ramthakur, flashpoint, cobra112, maaciejka, CeltickRanger, anel, drchoneydew, Jakkals, Marco2010, jcoowanitwong, yiannis, uleko, pegos, tuslaw has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Jakkals: LongvliesontstekingMiss_Piggy 1 02-07 11:04
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • vanda Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 338 W: 25 N: 754] (3673)
  • [2012-02-05 0:30]

Hi Anna!
I agree with you: it is very hard to photograph butterflies..they never stop :))
Congratulations on the scoop and also on your great capture. The picture is perfectly clear and we can admire all details of the butterfly.
Nice lighting and excellent DOF.
Have a nice Sunday and TFS.
Ciao! Vanda

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2012-02-05 0:32]

Hello Anna,
a very beautiful macro shot of the Pirate butterfly, superb sharpness and very good contrast of colours, excellent POV and composition.Best regards Siggi

Hallo Anna,
a superb macro shot of this marvellous Catacroptera in a lovely pose on the sand, outstanding sharpness and marvellous vivid colours, very nice composition
Best regards

  • Great 
  • efsus Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 415 W: 11 N: 843] (3947)
  • [2012-02-05 1:17]

Merhaba Anna!
Bu güzel Kelebeği daha önce gördüğümü hiç hatırlamıyorum. Minik kum ve taşların arasında çok ayrıntılı bir poz yakalamışsın. Özellikle turuncu rengin verdiği etkileyci kontrast ile çok başarılı bir kelebek fotosu olmuş. Tebrikler.


Pirate is a new species of butterflies for me, Anna, and I'm delighted to watch this beautiful butterfly you shot so very well on the ground.
It is a perfect shot with amazing focus on the subject. The colours and patterns on its open wings are a feast for the eyes.
Thanks for sharing this gem of a picture.

Hello Anna
Gorgeous macro, colors and fine detail.
Bello also the background of colored gravel.
Hello Nico

GReat focus on this stunning subject.
Thank you for sharing this beauty with us.
I believe the key to shooting butterflies is to do it as early in the morning as possible since they need warmth to heat up. Of course africa it is not as cold in the mornings as here, but it may still work\


Hi Anna
Yes macro photography is difficult but this one is just perfect!
The whole butterfly is in the dof with very nice bg

hello Anna
super picture with great details and super sharpness
the light and colours are beautiful
thanks greeting lou

Hello Anna,
A beautiful looking butterfly caught with first class details. Your top POV lets us see the wing markings so well, with nice colours. I also like the contrasting BG. Well done!

Ciao Anna. Razoe deatils and sharp with brillinat colours against the OOF BG. TFS.


Hi Anna,
what a beautiful composition. Amazing colours. Very good sharpness and details.
Just perfect!
Thanks for sharing,

Hello Anna

Excellent shot of this butterfly with the POV
from the top to show us its beautiful patterns
and wonderful color tones, great focus
with excellent sharpness and details, TFS


  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2012-02-05 7:11]

Hello Anna,
A very colorful and beautiful "Pirate" which you show us with this interesting posting. Always great to see very rarely shown species and here almost a first! Classical and well taken documentary shot. Un grand merci!
Kind regards

Ciao Anna, great macro of fantastic butterfly, wonderful colors, fine details, splendid light and superb sharpness, very well done, my friend, have a good Sunday, ciao Silvio

Oh well aren't you glad you followed it?! This is magnificent! EXCELLENT

Hello Anna,
Great macro of this beautiful butterfly.Superb colors and details.

Hi Anna,

Fabulous macro shot with impressive sharpness and detail my good friend, yes indeed not the easiest subjects to nail down hey!, however you have done a sterling job with this one, superb exposure/white balance and what exciting colours, delightful picture to view Anna and very well done,
Best Regards,


Wow....excellent image....
A very nice capture with amazing details and sharpness. The natural colors are exceptional.
It is a very nice composition with such impressive clarity and focus.
Thanks for sharing!

Hallo Anna,
An Absolute fantastic captured macro with explicit detailed colours and light balance. Good POV and Depth my friend. Well done!!
Best regards,
Jammer ek was 'n ruk van TN af. Is nog steeds besig om te herstel van long vlies ontsteking. Baie dankie vir jou en Loot se "comments" op my 50ste plasing. Het jy die foto (e-mail) van die kudu gekry wat ek gestuur het?

Ciao Anna .
Bellissima questa farfalla con questo colore arancio che risalta su questi sassolini ,
ottima la nitidezza con notevoli particolari,eccellente la composizione brava.
Ti auguro una buona settimana ciao Marco.
Grazie della condivisione.

Hi Anna,
Congratulations on getting this Pirate so clearly. Nice composition and attractive presentation. Very well done and tfs.

Amazing butterfly Anna! Great photo too! Excellent composition, fantastic colours and impressive sharpness!

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2012-02-06 3:38]

Hello Anna,
What a wonderful butterfly. Very beautiful colours with sharp markings on the wings. Good depth of field and a pleasing composition.

  • Great 
  • nagraj Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1618 W: 106 N: 3208] (15166)
  • [2012-02-06 4:20]

Lovely butterfly with fine colors, well captured. tfs.

  • Great 
  • Cobo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 236 W: 1 N: 535] (5799)
  • [2012-02-06 4:57]

Una preciosa mariposa con su color anaranjado que destaca y atrae la atención desde lejos, Una pose muy bonita tomando los rayos del sol sobre la arena. Excelente presentación y una composición muy acertada. Enhorabuena Anna.

Hello Anna,
I did not see before this flower.
Well done.
Amazing picture.

An exquisit butterfly and a perfect specimen.
Excellent photo, superb detail against a nice background. A feast for the eyes.
regards yiannis

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2012-02-08 6:45]

Hello Anna,
What a beautiful butterfly, first time on Trek! I like the framing and the colours and markings are really beautifully shown here. Very sharp and well composed!
In Sweden we have the Map butterfly that differs in colour from spring to autumn. Amazing!
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

  • Great 
  • pegos Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 222 W: 0 N: 356] (1982)
  • [2012-02-08 14:07]

Hello Anna,
outstanding sharpness and beautiful light in this image! Great visual impact and wonderful brilliant colours. Very well done!

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2012-02-08 19:49]

Hello Anna,
What a gorgous butterfly image you have posted. The bright orange wings marked with black bars and blue eye spots are stunning, to say the least. I can hardly wait until things warm up here in Ohio, so we will once again start seeing these beautiful insects.
Super sharp focus allows us to view it's features in fine detail and natural coloration. Love the close crop and wonderful exposure. I must admit I have never heard of this particular butterfly before.
Your right about not finding much info on this butterfly, as I tried to find a photo of it's chrysalis and couldn't find a thing.

Hello Anna,
Awesome Macro of this buterfly, excelent sharpness and amazing colours!!! Well done.
Kind regards.

Buen enfoque, con preciosos colores y entorno.
Un abrazo Anna: J. Ignasi.

Hi Anna
Although I am not a fan of butterfly photos, I must congratulate you on the detail and colour you managed to get from the wings of this specimen
Well done

Calibration Check