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Tawney Costers matting

Tawney Costers matting
Photo Information
Copyright: Haraprasan Nayak (haraprasan) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1570 W: 101 N: 5421] (20403)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-07-02
Categories: Insects
Camera: Nikon Coolpix E5600
Exposure: f/5.9, 1/78 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Gems from India, Passion Unlimited [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-07-03 2:26
Viewed: 3414
Points: 48
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Nymphalidae
Subfamily: Acraeinae
Genus: Acraea
Species: A. terpsicore

The Tawny Coster (Acraea terpsicore) is a small leathery winged butterfly which is common in grassland and scrub habitats. It belongs to the Nymphalidae or brush-footed butterfly family. It has a weak fluttery flight. It is avoided by most insect predators. This species and the Yellow Coster Acraea vesta are the only two Indian representatives of the predominantly African sub-family Acraeinae.

Upperside tawny. Fore wing: a transverse black spot in cell, and another irregular, oblique and broader at the disco-cellulars ; a discal series of spots in interspaces 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 10, and the apex and termen black. The upper four spots of the discal series inclined obliquely outwards, the lower two obliquely inwards ; the black edging to apex and termen narrowing posteriorly, but with slender linear-projections inwards in the interspaces. Hind wing: a basal series of four or five black spots with a similar spot beyond in middle of cell and a subcostal black spot above it, followed by a discal series of obscure blackish spots and a minute postdiscal black dot in interspaces 4 and 6 respectively ; finally, a broad black terminal band medially traversed by a series of small spots of the ground-colour. Most of the macular black markings are obscure, being only the spots on the underside seen by the transparency of the wing-membrane ; the inner edge of the black terminal band crenulate.

Underside: ground-colour ochraceous yellow or a paler tawny yellow. Fore wing paling to whitish on the apex, with the black markings as on the upper side but somewhat blurred and diffuse. Hind wing: the black spots and black terminal band as on the upperside, but the spots more clearly defined, none obscure; the series of spots traversing the black terminal margin very much larger and white- not tawny ; the base of the wing black, separated from the basal transverse series of black spots by two or three large whitish spots. Antennae black, head and thorax black spotted with ochraceous and white ; Abdomen anteriorly black, posteriorly ochraceous yellow with narrow transverse black lines; beneath, the palpi, thorax and abdomen ochraceous, the thorax spotted with ochraceous, the abdomen with a longitudinal line of black at base.


Similar to that of the male. Upperside: ground-colour duller; the black spots on fore and hind wings larger, the upper discal spots often coalescing and forming an irregular oblique short band; the black edging to apex and termen on the fore wing and the black terminal band on the hind wing proportionately broader, the spots traversing the latter larger and whitish.

Underside: ground-colour much paler and duller, markings as on the upperside and, as in the male, the spots on the hind wing better defined than on the upperside, Antennae, bead, thorax and abdomen as in the male.

Wing expanse of 53-64 mm.

The Tawny Coster is an unpalatable species and does not have much appeal to predators in any stage of its life. Even mantids, which feed on other poisonous species such as Danaids, keep away from this species. It defends itself by exuding an unpleasant oily liquid when captured or handled - a strategy that allows it to search for food and mates slowly and leisurely, with minimal expenditure of energy.

It frequently settles on flowers of herbaceous plants and has the habit of opening and closing its wings as it nectars on flowers. It does not fly high but remains within a few feet of the ground, circling in and out of clumps of vegetation. Interestingly, this species does not have any mimics in the island though they are numerous in Africa.

Early stages
The larvae feed on members of the Cucurbitaceae and Passifloraceae.

Source Wikipedia, Butterflies of Srilanka

Argus, mayuresh, Janice, uleko, angybone, fartash, JoseMiguel, Pentaxfriend, jaycee, gracious, JORAPAVI, valy67, thiv56, Debz has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-07-03 3:05]

Hello Haraprasan,
This is a very fine capture of a pair of mating A. terpsicore: beautifully composed against a pleasing and contrasting green leafy BG. This is also nice and sharp and with good lighting and colour.
Nice shot!
TFS and best wishes, Ivan

Hi haraprasan,
well composed,very nice capture of pair,beautiful colour and sharp image.

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2007-07-03 3:41]

Hello Haraprasan,
Great capture of the mating pair. Very clear and sharp presentation of them. The colours and details are great. Well composed too, TFS

selam, Great shot and very good composition. Well done ! Regards ridvan

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-07-03 3:50]

Hello Haraprasan,
Beautiful composition showing these two lovers. Excellent sharpness and fine colours.
They stand out nicely against the green background.
TFS and regards, Ulla

Another perfect composition - and the colors are great - vivid and brilliant!

Hello Haraprasan
What a wonderful mating shot,
Perfect details,composition ans sharpness,
Fantastic colors and DOF,Superb shot, TFS

Good Luck

Namaste Haraprasan,
this shot is wonderful, you saw a wonderful moment, I'm a little jealous ;-)
Thanks for sharing it with us
Sabine - wishnugaruda

Hello Haraprasan,
Well captured shot with excellent POV, DOF, details and colours.
TFS, Smitha.

Hi Haraprasan,
A great shot of this matting butterflies!
It's so good the close approach and the details got.
I like the vivid and intense colours on its wings, as well as the pattern on it.
You had a strong light to the left, but managed it pretty well in the insect's capture.
Congratulations and thanks for share it.
My best regards,

Hi Haraprasan,

Excellent shot
sharpness, details, colours and POV are PERFECT
Lovely compo and moment

TFS Thijs

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2007-07-03 8:53]

Hi Haraprasan,

A wonderful capture of this couple mating. Beautiful colors and fine details. Marvelous on the green leaf,


Hello Haraprasan,
you captured very well with matting butterflies!
perfect sharpness with vivid colour and much details
very well done

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2007-07-03 10:56]

Hello Haraprasan,
Fantastic moment. Beautiful sharp photo, great details. Great natural colours and light. Contrast against the BG is very nice.

Dear Haraprasan, Well done. Nice composition and good details. TFS. with best regards.vab.

hi haraprasan,
nice capture, your timing is perfect, i am surprised by your capture of the mating shots as i have seen the shots of mating insect from you earlier as well, so far i have never seen these beautiful insects mating, anyway nice shot, presented well, lovely composition,
well done,
tfs & regards

  • Great 
  • radz Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 598 W: 11 N: 72] (436)
  • [2007-07-03 22:29]

Lovely capture&colours and details come out well...

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2007-07-04 1:50]

Friend, Amazing te way you take shots. Brilliant. I believe your place is full of natural beauty it seems. I have simply not yet got a glimpse of such scene. Beauty friend. Ganesh

Hola Haraprasan,
Una toma muy bonita en su composición, buena luminosidad y definición con bellos colores, Saludos
José Ramón

Hello Haraprasan !
You managed to caputre a great moment ! I love the vivid colors and the patterns on their wings, it is very beautiful. Wonderful sharp details, nice composition and excellent POV. Very well done !

Hello Haraprasan!

Excellent shot, with very good POV and DOF and marvellous colours! TFS.


  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2007-07-06 0:43]

Hi Haraprasan,
Outstanding shot of this mating Tawny Costers captured with immaculate sharpness and wonderful colours. Excellent POV to portray this tender moment and the green leaves as BG sets a nice tone to the shot. The harsh light has been managed well. Very nicely composed. Kudos.

  • Great 
  • Debz Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 505 W: 0 N: 847] (3307)
  • [2007-07-06 1:58]

Very nice pov and presentation Haraprasan. Wonderful detail in both Butterflies. Excellent light and colour and nice and sharp with a good dof. Very nice moment to capture.

Hello Haraprasan,
Amazing moment. Beautiful formaldehyde. Wonderfully contrasting and replete colours. The butterflies' peer sharp and sharp :)). Seriously - pretty picture.
I greet - Roma

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