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Clouded Yellow

Clouded Yellow
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: 2008-10-18
Categories: Insects
Camera: Nikon D200, Sigma EX 105mm F2.8 DG Macro, 58mm UV
Exposure: f/5.0, 1/400 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2008-11-17 1:44
Viewed: 3370
Points: 30
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note

This butterfly was among the healthy specimens of butterflies I shot in my native place in the hills this October. There were many of them nectaring on the marigold flowers in our little garden.

Colias croceus is a small butterfly of the Pieridae family, that is, the Yellows and Whites. In India and nearby regions it is known as the Dark Clouded Yellow or Common Clouded Yellow to distinguish it from the other species of clouded yellows occurring there; elsewhere it is often simply known as "the clouded yellow".


The upperside is golden to orange yellow with a broad black margin on all four wings and a black spot near the center forewing. The underside lacks the black borders and is lighter, with a more greenish tint, particularly on the forewings. In the forewing underside is the same dark spot as on the upperside, but often with a light center; the hindwing underside has a white center spot, often with a smaller white or dark dot immediately above it. Sometimes, a row of black dots occurs on the underwings' outer margins, corresponding to where the black border ends on the upperside.

Females differ from the males in having yellow spots along the black borders on the upperside. In a small proportion of females the golden upperside colouration is replaced by a pale cream colour. These have been distinguished as form helice, but do not seem to be that distinct as intermediates exist and the variation is to some extent related to humidity during development, with dryer conditions producing paler coloration.

In flight, it is easily identifiable by the intense yellow colouring, much brighter than that of the lemon-yellow male Common Brimstone which also lacks black color. Like all Colias species they never open their wings at rest. Pale females can be confused with the rarer Pale Clouded Yellow (C. hyale) and Berger's Clouded Yellow (C. sareptensis). Even the palest C. croceus tends to have more black on the upperside however, in particular on the hindwings.

Distribution and Ecology

The Common Clouded Yellow's breeding range is North Africa and southern Europe and eastwards through Turkey into the Middle East but it occurs throughout much of Europe as a summer migrant, in good years individuals reaching Scandinavia. In Asia, its range extends into central Siberia in the north and barely into India in the south; it is not found in Central Asia. In the UK they can be seen on the south coast almost every year in varying numbers, and regularly breed there. Occurrence in the rest of the UK varies considerably from year to year, but they are increasingly observed as far north as Dumfries and Galloway.

A truly migratory European butterfly, this species is famous for occasional mass migrations and subsequent breeding, which are often referred to in the United Kingdom as "clouded yellow years".



siggi, LordPotty, eqshannon, matatur, crs, Jamesp, albert, NinaM, Pearl has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2008-11-17 2:40]

Hello Ram
Very nice shot. Good sharpnessss, nice diagonal composition, perfect OOF, homogenous background
Good job
Regards Siggi

Hello Ram,
This one looks just a little soft,but the colours and the composition are just wonderful.
The focus on the eye seems to be ok so perhaps the wings were just quivering.
Its a beautiful image in any case,and a very good descriptive note.

Certainly colorful...It has quite the array...which make up for the softness a bit...I do love your framing...hard to touch a photo such as this in a frame...I'm up for it today...I think...I may eat my words..

Hi Ram,
what a beautiful arrangement, sunny colours, wonderful moment, I like it very much, thanks my friend
Sabine - wishnugaruda

A poetic capture of both the Colias and the Marigold with a fine, soft-focus effect Ram, the pastel colours of the BG enhances the composition nicely. TFS this beautiful scene.

  • Great 
  • crs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 469 W: 0 N: 922] (3551)
  • [2008-11-17 21:04]

Hello Ram,

Colias are nice butterflies with fine colors on the wings. You have shown it well in your photo rendering beautifull colors both on the insect and flower beneath. You have photographed the butterfly in an interesting pose while feeding. Wing's colors match well with the background.

Thank you for sharing,

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-11-17 22:37]

Hi Ram

A lovely shot fron nad excellent pov. The colours are lovely.


Hello Ram,
harika bir çiçek ve kokusu mükemmel,
kelebeklede bir arada çok güzel bir kompozisyon olmuş,

Beautiful butterfly , you capture so sharp. It's a wonderful shot.
Best wishes,

Hello Ram,
Good shot with good composition
The focus is OK on the flower and should also be right on the butterfly but on my screen the wing looks a bit blurred !
It might be the texture of the wings of this butterfly which is unknown for me?

  • Great 
  • NinaM Gold Star Critiquer [C: 773 W: 3 N: 1157] (4077)
  • [2008-11-18 10:40]

Bonjour Ram, this yellow butterfly is as yellow as an egg yold and as yellow as the marigold! Beautiful capture, I am amazed at all the different species found in India, no wonder you like to take pictures of them! What amazed me most in your picture, is the green eye. Thank you,


  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-11-18 13:18]

Hi Ram,
a lovely shot of this Clouded Yellow.
The warm light and colours are brilliant!
Excellent composition.
Great BG.

Well done,

  • Great 
  • Pearl Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 105 W: 25 N: 76] (321)
  • [2008-11-19 8:45]

Hello Ram,

What a lovely shot you got here. Very pleasant picture to look at. The colors are just lovely, good BG as it gives a wonderful contrast to the flowers and the butterfly. Good note. TFS.


  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-11-25 1:15]

Hello Ram,
Another wonderful butterfly shot from you! I love the backlight and the colours in this composition and the details of butterfly and flower are nice and sharp sharp. A lovely background too!
TFS and kind regards, Ulla

Ciao Ram, lovely composition with fantastic colors, beautiful Colias on a splendid flower, wonderful lighting BG, very well done my friend, ciao Silvio

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