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Chocolate Treat

Chocolate Treat
Photo Information
Copyright: Loot Eksteen (loot) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-06-25
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, Sigma 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 HZ DG Macro, Digital ISO 100, UV 62mm Kenko
Exposure: f/14.0, 1/200 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Insects and Spiders of Southern Africa, Butterflies of the African continent., Beautiful Butterflies, Butterflies with minimum 50 points & above, Butterfly, I love, 100 points or more (Chapter 1), A study in Entomology (insects) 1, Dedications at Trek Nature, 90-99 Puntos (chapter 1), My Dedications ;o), Macromania [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-07-30 2:07
Viewed: 7722
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 104
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
African Monarch - Danaus chrysippus aegyptius

Hi there all my TN friends and those I have not yet met. After a 2 week period of absence it is great to be back with a posting and the opportunity to say "hello" to all of you.

I would like to dedicate this 'chocolate treat' to all the medical staff & personnel at the Garden Clinic in Empangeni. Thanks for your dedicated treatment and professional touch. It sure went a long way to ensure a pleasant stay and speedy recovery. Also 'A BIG THANKS' to all my TN friends who thought of me and/or prayed for me while I was in hospital and to everyone who send e-mails or gave word of encouragement through your critiques. I appreciate you all.

This lovely specimen was one of my last butterflies I photographed at the Thulasihleka Pan Bird Sanctuary outside Richards Bay with both my knees still squeaking; now I only have one squeaker left, but if need be I might have that knee done by next year. Anyway, enough said about the subject, I'm just glad to be back at my PC so I could get busy on TN and, as I said, to chat to all my friends out there.

Taxonomic Classification

: Nymphalidae
The second-largest butterfly family worldwide, with 6 000 species in 12 subfamilies, nine of these represented in South Africa. Also known as 'brush-footed butterflies', because the adults front pairs of legs are atrophied to small brush-like sensory organs, so that they appear to have only four legs instead of the normal six. The front pair of legs serves no walking function.
Flight is generally slow and sailing.
GENUS: Danaus (Monarchs)
Large to very large cream to yellow or tawny-orange butterflies, with black veins. Several colour morphs exist. Both sexes are similar; the male has black sex brands on the hind wing.
SPECIES: chrysippus aegyptius
Like all other monarchs this butterfly is toxic and thus avoided by other predators. They advertise their toxicity with bold patterns of chocolate-brown or black, white and orange. Predators have learned to recognise the colouration of the African Monarch, associating it with a bad taste. Wingspan: 50-75mm. Mouthparts: Sucking in adult. Wings: 2 pairs of flying wings. Orange winged with substantial band of large white spots on black wing tips. Lifespan: 3-4 weeks in summer generations; 7-8 months in over wintered generation.

Common and widespread in forest edges, hill tops, flatlands, coast, mountains and wetlands.

Common throughout Southern Africa in all biomes.

Flight period
All year-round, with strong peak in late summer/autumn.

Larvae feed on milkweed; adults feed on flower nectar.

Eggs: Number variable. Hatching time: 3-4 days. Development time of caterpillars: 3-4 weeks.

Source: "Field Guide to Butterflies of South Africa", by Steve Woodhall, published by Struik.

Post Processing was done with Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0.

jjcordier, carper, jmp, ddg, blakitan, horia, keanhoon, coasties, Hil, ramthakur, aido, mogens-j, wkshelton, SkyF, hester, ellis49, wallhalla15, marhowie, scottevers7, manyee, peter_stoeckl, Aramok, sandpiper2, Gudule, SunChi, Athila, pilonm, firelord, soccer, goutham_ramesh, TAZ, saguzar, eruyanik, greghume, marjan, thor68, RAP, xuaxo, anahory, Dyker, jeanpaul, Miss_Piggy, Aaltjie, Rehanna, betsie, boreocypriensis has marked this note useful
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To Aaltjie: Oh my...loot 2 05-22 07:09
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Critiques [Translate]

Excellent shot of this very nice butterfly.Good light and sharpness and a dark BG well done
Best regards

Hi loot,
It's great to have you back, you have been missed.
I hope everything went well.
It's a beautiul butterfly with lovely colours. Well composed, good POV and details.
Very well done, mf.

Mooi dat je er weer bent Loot.
Ik hoop dat alles naar wens is gegaan en dat je weer spoedig geheel mag herstellen. Very nice shot, good composition,
the flash is a little hard but even I like the capture and the pov, well done Loot, we, my wife and I are happy your back.
gr. jaap en Teunie

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2006-07-30 2:33]

Hi Loot,
Very good news to hear you talking about medical stuffs. It's a good symptom!
A very good pov, lovely color and perfect background. The blue light in the head of the bf gives goods sensations!
Take care, José M.

  • Great 
  • ddg Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 867 W: 24 N: 1008] (5507)
  • [2006-07-30 3:20]

Hi Loot, stunning capture with a great lighting and a splendid composition. The position of butterfly inside the flower shows a great POV. Congratulations, Didier.

Hi Loot,
Superb shot of a pretty butterfly, nicely captured and greatly composed.

Ben Lakitan

  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2006-07-30 3:51]

Hi Loot,

Welcome back in good health,your input was missed on TN,a great capture of this beautifull butterfly with vivid colors,well done and TFS,


  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2006-07-30 3:52]

Very nice picture, Loot!
Wonderfull colors, excellent POV with the wings wide opened, very good usage of flash and very well framed.
Also great is the very vast note.
Bravo and TFS

Nice shot, your flash really brings the focus out and BG deep.

Hi Loot

Well done on a very nice shot. You show your subject very well. Crisp, clear and sharp. Good quality work. :-)

Hi Loot,
just wonderful - wow - sharpness and colours are excellent and brilliant, also the arrangement with the dark BG and the wonderful flower. Very well done, I like it so much
Sabine - wishnugaruda

  • Great 
  • Hil Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 696 W: 13 N: 1407] (5035)
  • [2006-07-30 6:11]

Hi Loot

Beautiful Shot, the detail is very crisp and I love the colours & lighting against the darker background. Good notes too.

Regards Hilary

Hello Loot!
Good to know your treatment went off well. Take care.
Coming to your image, it is a beautiful shot. Your POV offers a full open wings view. What lovely colours and patterns!
Thanks for sharing it.

  • Great 
  • aido Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 1044 W: 156 N: 1218] (4046)
  • [2006-07-30 7:14]

Hi Loot,
Welcome back, it's good to see another post from you. Glad everything went well. Beautiful shot, great details and excellent flash control, just right I think. Lovely dark BG with that little spot of light in the distance. Great work from you again.

Hi Loot,
Great to see you back! I hope you are doing fine and will have a speedy recovery. You have been missed by us all.
You are starting with a beauty. The light and colors are super, and the dark b/g with this lighter center spot gives the butterfly and flower great contrast.

Nice to have you back in good condition Loot.

Great capture of a real beauty. Looks like a young one with no damages on the wings yet. Very nice colours, great sharpness and dof. Very clever handling of the flash too.


Hello Loot, excllent shot, You have done well with the use of light, Excllent details, Very crisp, perfect use of DOF, BG, POV and fram right on spot, Excllent Job, TFS Kyle

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2006-07-30 9:29]

Hello Loot welcome back.
Great catch, the colors are vivid and the details very sharp. Good POV and nice background that shows of the flyer very well.

  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2006-07-30 9:52]

Welcome back

The colours here are beautiful. Quite luminous. Great details and POV. Nicely set off with the dark background.

Very lovely


Hello Loot,
this is a great picture from the Plain Tiger.
Excellent Colours/lighting, great POV and sharpness. This is a great composition with an excellent note about this wunderful butterfly. Thank you my friend.

  • Great 
  • wuta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 855 W: 2 N: 617] (2142)
  • [2006-07-30 13:56]

Hello Loot , Nice you back , with a beauty butterfly , good compositie colours pov and a beauty bg , tfs , and very best to you , Greetings Teunie .

Hello Loot,
Great to hear you're recovering well and posting again.
Excellent shot with lovely color and light, looks great with the "spotlit" effect against this BG. Nice POV and framing as well..
Hope the physical therapy goes well & you're up and "running" :) soon!

Hi Loot,
Good to see you back!!!! Superb composition and framong on this shot. The fill flash exposure looks great here. Beautiful color saturation without any trace of overflash. Tack sharp detail, and the dark backround really looks perfect for this shot. Hope the knee is 100 percent!

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2006-07-31 2:52]

Hi Loot,
Welcome back, my friend.
You were sorely missed (no pun intended: P).
If this is what you did with two squeaky knees,
what are you going to produce now, with your bionic knee?
Your African Monarch is a perfect specimen, shown here with superb sharpness and exposure, gorgeous colors, excellent POV, and in a beautiful composition.
The wings are spread out in perfect symmetry. They look so smooth and so flatly laid out, they look like silk. The texture is amazing. Really an exceptional capture.
Thank you for sharing. : )

Hello Loot,
welcome back home, and back to TN!
And you are presenting a magnificent shot here, with excellent details, a majestic pose, perfectly well balanced composition, and rich colours that a shown in a dramatical light.
The very strong contrasts have been perfectly managed by you.
The distant deep blue in the centre of the very dark background adds to the ultimate perfection of this butterfly beauty on stage.
Great contribution!
Thank you, and best regards,


that is one stunning picture of a butterfly.

Hopefully you are recovering well. (this is the first summer for quite a few years that I have not been into hospital for an op, so I'm enjoying it, so I can understand your side of things, but you'll have a new found freedom soon, limping around your garden with a camera and tripod to hand....)


Good to see you back with us. My father-in-law just had both knees replced at 70 and he's doing fine. But I know what a pain it is.
Anyway, great image and nice use of flash.
Great details and sharpness.
Hope you have a speedy recovery.

  • Great 
  • Silke Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 729 W: 98 N: 1707] (5458)
  • [2006-07-31 11:34]

welcome back -- we missed you and glad to have you bakc aboard again. This is an excellent reintroduciton Loot. It is, of course, perfect in every way -- what more can I say?


  • Great 
  • Gudule Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 248 W: 11 N: 288] (1204)
  • [2006-07-31 21:01]

Bonjour Loot.
Vous m'offrez une «Chocolate Treat» alors que c'est vous qui auriez besoin de réconfort. Mais, je suis heureux d'apprendre que vous vous rétablissez bien et que vous avez reçu les bons soins nécessaires pour recouvrer la santé.
Ayant été absent moi-même durant un certain temps, je suis heureux de vous retrouver.
Votre photo est superbement bien réussie.
Ici, nous commençons à apercevoir le Monarque.
Bonne chance.


Hallo Loot,

Zoals altijd weer een fantastische foto.


Hi Loot,

Nice shot, excellent color, focus and exposure. Diagonal composition looks good. I would have prefer more exposure on the BG, but like this all emphasis is on the butterfly.

Great close up and TFS.


Hello Loot,

I'm very happy to hear from you :-) Happy also that you are back to TN after 2 weeks of recovery. I wish you that your knee will be back as when you were 20! Your competent critics were missing to all of us on TN (me the first). Your picture is just lovely! You managed using the flash greatefully in order to have an excellent exposure! The butterfly is superb and we can see a lot of details! I like the black bg with the deep blue in front of the head of the insect! How far were you from it for I think they are very shy?

Excellent picture for a come back, my friend! Take care and TFS,



Very good Lighting, Sharpness and detail indeed. The composition, POV, dark BG and DOF make for a really great pic. TFS,

Very Beautiful capture. I love the POV on this, I like to see the wings fully spreadout like this as it shows of the colors and patterns of butterflies at their best. Very nice Loot. :)

Hi Loot. It good to see you up and about again. I am glad all went well. This photo is very good. The colors and details very pleasing against the dark BG. Nice DOF at F14. You diod a great job with this one.

Welcome back!! LOOT, Its nice to know that you feel much better :-)
Great shot, the diagonal composition is excellent, the control on the flash and the exposure is superb.The colors are rich ( a bit saturated i feel).
Goutham R

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2006-08-10 9:59]

Hello Loot !
Nice to see you back after hospital, how are you ? The nurses were they lovely ;-)
This butterfly is superb, the sharpness is excellent, the colors and contrast are great.
Congratulations my friend.

  • Great 
  • osse Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 955 W: 0 N: 89] (7805)
  • [2006-08-13 5:35]

Hi Loot
Nice shot of this beautiful butterfly. Great colours, light, BG, details and POV. Also good note.
Well done my friend


Hello Loot,
i don't know about the knee problem, i'm sorry to heard it and at the same time i'm happy to see you back to TN and one of the problem sas been solved, i hope the other solves in a time:-)

For your beautiful butterfly, great sharpness on it and it looks so vivid and colourful. Dark bg is very nice here and helps the subject in front of us. Great use of flash here, i like all in the frame.
Thank you,

Hello Loot
I'm glad to hear that things went well with the work done on your knee. Welcome back.
This is a stunning image. The butterfly is in perfect condition and the DOF and dark background show it to it's best advantage. Regards.

hi loot, good to see you back! :-)
how´s your knee coming along?
excellent macro-shot by the way, such a pretty butterfly!
nice of it to pose so openly to you and show its beautiful wings.
the lovely colors are really enhanced by the perfect use of the flash.
best wishes & take care, thorsten.

Hi Loot,
Stunning shot with vibrant colour. The exposure and use of flash as created quite a bit of mood in the image. Very nice. Good to see you back, I had joint reconstruction on a couple of toes last year and it took 6+ weeks to get back into the swing of things. I hope your recovery is speedy.

  • Great 
  • RAP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2524 W: 345 N: 2373] (7405)
  • [2006-09-19 8:17]

Impresionante macro Loot, practicamente perfecta tanto estética como técnicamente.
La composición ligeramente en diagonal con POV tradicional pero efectivo, con increíble nitidez y definición, no sólo en la mariposa sino también en los pimpollos de la izquierda.
Un trasfondo con toques artísticos por su colorido y suavidad, además de un encuadre muy apropiado y un PP impecable.
Con admiración... Ricardo

Impressive macro Loot, practically perfect so much aesthetics as technically.
The composition slightly in diagonal with traditional but effective POV, with incredible sharpness and definition, not only in the butterfly but also in the rosebuds of the left.
A background with artistic touches for their coloring and softness, besides a very appropriate framing and a PP impeccable.
With admiration... Ricardo

Hi Loot,

exellent shot with perfect sharpness and details,
beautiul composition, collours, POV,DOF

TFS Thijs

  • xuaxo Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 25 W: 0 N: 16] (110)
  • [2006-11-05 12:20]

Beautiful picture (what else can I say?). Great!

Good to know that you are fine.

Hi Loot!
a magnificent insect and a great macro!
like the composition,the vivid colours and the black background ...sharpness is also perfect and your notes are really useful!

Bonjour Lott
Très joli ce macro avec ce beau monarch africain, les détails et les contrastes sont réussis très jolis couleurs. Il est sublime ce papillon avec une belle présentation.

Bravo et merci....JP

Loot, this is just stunning!

This is a good example of a wise use of flash. This is a beautiful specimen very well captured. Thanks,

Howzit Loot,
What excellent sharpness and intensive detail.The BG has really intensified the image.
Well done mate. TFS

Hi there my friend
This is a wonderful close-up. All detail are shown perfectly and so close to the eye. I just love the visibility of the body and the pretty patterns on the wings. Real fairy tale like with just as delightful title. I wonder to which kind of chocolates this one compares to? Bar-One, Kit-Kat, Inside Story, Aero or maybe a Crunchie. No man stop it, stop it! I am supposed to watch what I am eating at my old age. Ok maybe it is a Caramel Treat Double Delight. Thanks for sharing, one of your older desserts, oops I mean photographs.
Warmest regards

Hello Loot

Mensig, ek lees die storie van die "snack attack" en ek verlustig myself so erg daarin dat ek midde in 'n koekie bevlieging opeindig. My mond die water, die lus vir 'n soetigheid het die oorhand, my wilskrag verkrummel in die niet en ek is die een wat vir my kinders leer om nie lekkers op 'n nugter maag te eet nie. Dit net alles deurdat jou slim opskrif as teken van 'n sjokolade geskenkie aan die mediese personeel van die kliniek vir arme Aaltjie die belustiging gegee het. Dit is wat 'n mens 'n ketting reaksie van enorme proporsie kan noem. Hierdie honger gogga het gehardloop vanaf Suid Afrika via Holland en terug na Suid Afrika en nou beter ek maar liewers eers 'n glas water gaan drink om my maag te flous. O ja, die skoenlapper is natuurlik ook al te pragtig.


Hallo Loot
This is such a magnificent and colourful insect. I just love the assortment of colours and patterns on the wings and especially the white lining along the edges are very eye-catching. The slender body is very fascinating. Sharpness, focus, light and composition is prominent. A real winner. Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed looking at this one and reading about it.

Hi MF Loot,

It was very interesting for me that i am seeing a b-fly shot from you inded:) But like all other ones this is also impressive! You've taken this from very nice vantage point with perfect focus, excellent DOF, great clarity and delightful composition.
TFS and have a nice day!

Ps. Sorry for late commenting. I had some internet connection problems to TN.

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