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Indian Tortoiseshell

Indian Tortoiseshell
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: 2016-06-04
Categories: Insects
Camera: Nikon D200, Sigma 18-200 Zoom F3.5-6.3 DC
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/500 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2016-08-20 23:58
Viewed: 1616
Points: 8
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I had only heard about but not seen an Indian Tortoiseshell butterfly seen at high altitude until I saw and shot this one at Saach Pass in the Himalayas at an altitude of 15000 ft during my trek to the Pass with my students this summer. Unfortunately I had only my wide lens 18-200mm mounted on my camera for landscape imaging, so this shot with this lens is not to my best satisfaction. It was about mid day and the sunlight on a clear day was rather harsh at that height. Anyway, I consider this picture of documentary significance.

Indian Tortoiseshell
Aglais caschmirensis KOLLAR, 1844
subfamily - NYMPHALINAE


There are 6 species in the genus Aglais, which some workers now consider to be a subgenus within Nymphalis. The Aglais are distinct from Nymphalis in being somewhat smaller in wingspan, and with brighter and more contrasty markings, but the basic wing pattern and colours are very similar.
The most well known and widespread member of the genus is the Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae, which occurs across the whole of Europe and most of temperate Asia, but does not occur south of the Himalayan mountains.
There are 3 species found in the Himalayas - ladakensis and rizana are restricted to the western Himalayas, while the illustrated species caschmirensis has a wider distribution, being found across the Himalayan foothills from Kashmir to Sikkim, Bhutan and Tibet.


This species is found on flowery slopes and other semi-open rural habitats in the foothills of the Himalaya, at altitudes between about 1000-4000m.


The larval foodplant is Urtica ( Urticaceae ).

Adult behaviour

Both sexes feed avidly at the nectar of wild and cultivated flowers. Early or late in the day when temperatures are cool they bask on bare ground, or on rocks, with their wings fully outspread. In very warm conditions they settle on soil, and hold their wings erect.


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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2016-08-21 2:03]

Hello Ram,
Special meeting at that height. Nice photo in a fine composition, good sharpness and beautiful natural colors.

hallo Ram
nice picture of this butterfly
good details and lovely colours
thanks gr lou

Ciao Ram, great capture of beautiful butterfly, fine details, wonderful natural colors and splendid sharpness, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2016-08-22 20:07]

Hello Ram,
You did a great job of photographing this beautiful butterfly under such harsh lighting conditions. The wings are nicely exposed showing the beautiful markings and colors of this distinct butterfly. Focus is sharp and I like the way you composed the image. Well done!!

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