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Photo Information
Copyright: Peter Stoeckl (peter_stoeckl) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1738 W: 291 N: 4005] (11530)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-08-20
Categories: Insects
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC-H5
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): European Butterflies 2, Butterflies with minimum 50 points & above, RARE or SIGNIFICANT contributions to TN 1, European Butterflies 7, Hohe Tauern National Park [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-09-06 11:37
Viewed: 7764
Favorites: 4 [view]
Points: 70
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Parnassius sacerdos (Stichel, 1906),

Small Apollo.

Family: Papilionidae.

Wing span: approx. 60 - 65mm.

An endemite of the European Alps, where it can be found near glaciers at high elevations only (2000m - 3000m above sea level).

This year I was lucky to find this strictly protected rare species where I expected to see it: high up in the Oetztal valley near Gries im Sulztal in July, and near the glaciers of Grossglockner in August, 2006. Males only in July, both males and females in August.

At first sight, Parnassius sacerdos looks quite similar to Parnassius apollo L. which is another rare but wide spread inhabitant of several mountain areas in southern, central and eastern Europe, and also of southern Scandinavian lowlands.

Parnassius sacerdos is slightly smaller. The species shows some red spots within the black markings on the forewings, P. apollo does not. As a most significant difference, at Parnassius sacerdos the shafts of the antennae are clearly striped black and white in a very distictive way.

This year I could meet both species in the Tyrol living quite close together in one valley, but never mixing: Parnassius apollo always flying at dry rocky places within the range of forests at lower elevations, usually not exceeding 1800m above sea level, while Parnassius sacerdos could be found near wet spots on alpine grassland only - clearly above the range of forests, and not below 2000m.

The butterfly can be seen in one generation in July and August. Caterpillars of Parnassius sacerdos feed on Saxifraga aizoides.


Häuser, C. L. (1993): An annotated checklist of the species of the Parnassiinae (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae). – Tijdschrift voor Entomologie, 136: 137-146.

Jonko, C.: Butterflies and Moths of Europe: http://www.lepidoptera.pl/

Shepard, J. H. & Manley, T. R. (1998): A species revision of the Parnassius phoebus complex in North America (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae). – In: Emmel, T. C. (Hrsg.): Systematics of Western North American Butterflies. – Mariposa Press.

Tolman, T. & Lewington, R. (1998): Die Tagfalter Europas und Nordwestafrikas. – Stuttgart

Wikipedia: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alpenapollo

The camera:

SONY DSC-H5, 3072 x 2304 pixel, sRGB, 17mm, F/4, 1/800 sec., ISO-125, hand held, no flash.
20.08.2006, 11:15.

Postwork: Photoshop Elements, slightly cropped, BG cleaned, downsized to the web, selectively sharpened.

Hope you enjoy. Thank you for looking.
Have a very good day.

wishnugaruda, Argus, marmottelolo, wallhalla15, dew77, magal, horia, ddg, marhowie, shal, TheMystic, Hil, anel, phlr, jmp, manyee, sgo, coasties, Christopher_PL, TAZ, wkshelton, RAP, SkyF, Janice, eruyanik, cedryk, Harm-digitaal has marked this note useful
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Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Merlin: some more background texture retained?peter_stoeckl 1 09-27 16:24
To eruyanik: texture of the wingspeter_stoeckl 1 09-14 04:27
To RAP: gracias a a un correcto DOFpeter_stoeckl 3 09-08 09:44
To wallhalla15: da ich nicht groß Gepäck mitschleppen möchtpeter_stoeckl 1 09-06 12:47
To dailydog: a living onepeter_stoeckl 1 09-06 11:48
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Critiques [Translate]

Very nice and sharp. Strange how the tips of the wings are almost transparent enough to see the background. Beautiful butterfly. I'm sorry I haven't seen a living one yet.

Hallo Peter,
diese Flügel wirken so zerbrechlich, fast durchsichtig, und diese schönen roten Punkte - welch eine Pracht. Erstklassig in Schärfe und Farbe, gefällt mir sehr, vielen Dank und lieben Gruß
Sabine - wishnugaruda

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2006-09-06 12:00]

Hello Peter,
What a fantastic shot of P. sarcedos (P. phoebus. This has all the attributes of a good butterfly shot - and more. As I have never seen one in nature your picture compensates a little!
Thanks for this picture and the info.
Regards, ivan

peter le bord des ailes semble se confondre avec le BG,beaucoup de details,bonne netteté et jolies couleurs.bonne macro.

  • Great 
  • Aramok Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 896 W: 101 N: 1501] (5166)
  • [2006-09-06 12:27]

What a shot.. that is some butterfly. The colour of the edges of the wings is almost the same as the BG giving a very strange effect/feel, but a stunning shot.


Hallo Peter,
wieder einmal ein Supermakro. Da muß man einfach neidisch werden. Ich hoffe, daß die Alpen noch lange solche Diamanten vorweisen können. Zum Foto kann ich nur sagen: perfekt!!! Momentan überlege ich mir noch welche neu Digi ich mir zulege. Da sind momentan 3 Kandidaten, die in Frage kommen. (Fuji S9600, Panasonic FZ 50 und Deine Sony H5. Eine SLR kommt nicht in Frage, da ich nicht groß Gepäck mitschleppen möchte.
- Danke Dir für diesen wunderbaren Apollo-Falter.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2006-09-06 12:47]

This is soooo beautiful! You've really managed to get a perfect shot of this Apollo: - fantastic sharp details, nice composition and I love the transparency of the wings.
Many thanks, Ulla

Hi Peter,
you have captured a beautiful butterfly.
The colours and texture is great. Well composed, good POV andvery nice DOF.
Great work, my friend.

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2006-09-06 13:01]

Hello Peter,
MAgnificent butterfly capture.POV,lighting,clear detaşls,sharpness,blurred BG and composition are wonderful.Excellent work!Have very good day too.

  • Great 
  • magal Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 224 W: 0 N: 313] (1251)
  • [2006-09-06 13:05]

Hi Peter,
Excellent shot of a very beautiful creature. POV is ideal, detail sharp and colours are simply fantastic. Thanks for the informative note.
Best regards

  • Great 
  • ddg Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 867 W: 24 N: 1008] (5507)
  • [2006-09-06 13:44]

Hi Peter, splendid shot of this butterfly. Great composition and color well saturated. Sharpness and DOF are perfect. Very nice BG, best regards, Didier.

  • Great 
  • carper Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1973 W: 119 N: 2582] (8439)
  • [2006-09-06 13:49]

it's a very nice one Peter,
the quality of this shot is high, great point of view, good details, realy marvelous shot Peter I like it.
gr. jaap

Very sharp & detailed Peter. Excellent colors and DOF as well..Looks great on green :)
Are the wing edges translucent or green..Can't really tell.
Very well done.

  • Great 
  • shal Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 256 W: 64 N: 481] (2140)
  • [2006-09-06 14:43]

Hi Peter,
Outstanding macro,
brilliant details and composition:)
beautiful presentation, POV & DOF,
Much appreciated,
Very well done :D
Cheers TFS,
Vishal Sabharwal

Peter: I have to comment on this to include most of your work, since only now did I get to see your pictures. I added to my favorites and shall visit more often, when time permits. Great work overall.

  • Great 
  • batu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1079 W: 293 N: 4497] (16383)
  • [2006-09-06 15:15]

Hallo Peter,
danke für den glasklaren phoebus, der nicht so oft gezeigt wird wie der 'gemeine' apollo. Die 'rauhe' Beschuppung und die kurzen Fühler sind scharf zu sehen. Ein wunderschönes Bild.
Beste Grüße, Peter

  • Great 
  • Hil Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 696 W: 13 N: 1407] (5035)
  • [2006-09-06 15:20]

Hi Peter,

Another new Butterfly for me to see, the composition is superb and shows the detail really nicely, the colours are lovely too, and a great BG.

TFS Hilary :)

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2006-09-06 15:22]

Ein Schmuckstück der Natur ist dieser Schmetterling. Ich habe noch nie einen gesehen, obwohl meine Wurzeln in den Alpen sind. Als Kind habe ich einmal einen Parnassius Apollo mit den Händen gefangen und ihn beschädigt. Seitdem gibt mir der Anblick eines solchen Schmetterlings immer ein wenig schlechtes Gewissen.

Superb, beautiful shot that you've created here. I'm totally knackered so can't comment fully, but had to leave a quick note of appreciation!

Well done!

Hi Peter,
Superb macro shot!Congratulations...TFS.Hilmi

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2006-09-06 17:30]

Hi Peter,
Grait vertical pov to see butterfly. Beuatiful translucent wings that let see the bf and part of the red left spot. Great details and note.
Best regards, José M.

Hi Peter,
It's just a perfect picture! Nice work!


  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2006-09-06 23:45]

Very lovely shot, Peter.
An unusual butterfly with that striking red and black spots on the white wings.
Exposure and focus are excellent. Great POV.
TFS. : )

  • Great 
  • sgo Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 137 W: 32 N: 239] (718)
  • [2006-09-07 1:06]

Hi Peter,
Congratulations to your successful search of this very rare species! Your picture is overwhelmingly impressive: perfect in pose, composition, colours and details - a masterly portrait of this attractive, little beauty. Thanks a lot Peter for this very valuable documentation! Also very nice to see you back in action on TN!
Best regards,

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2006-09-07 3:37]

Hi Peter

Another one of your beautiful butterflies! :)
Superb shot, taken from a great POV, with the wings wide opened, perfect DOF, with all of the butterfly - antenas included - in full focus, lovely colors - especially on the flower - and a great blurry BG. All-in-all a superb composition.

Bravo and TFS

Hi Peter

Beautiful! Love the light in this shot. Just wonderful to view. Thank you!

It's really beautiful butterfly. Also the picture is almost perfect ;-)
Great colours and sharpness. Thanks


  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2006-09-07 6:53]

What a wonderful Apollo of Alps that you have very well captured ! Nice composition with a soft background were the buttrefly stand out. Colors, exposure, DOF and sharpness are great. Useful note. Congratulations Peter and thanks for sharing.

Hello peter,

excllent colors, bg, POv DOf perfect details very crisp, nicly composed and capture photo,

TFS Kyle

  • Great 
  • RAP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2524 W: 345 N: 2373] (7405)
  • [2006-09-07 15:10]
  • [+]

Una bonita imagen Peter por composición principalmente.
La nitidez y el colorido son muy buenos, así como el trasfondo obtenido gracias a a un correcto DOF.
TFS y saludos... Ricardo

A nice image Peter for composition mainly.
The clarity and the coloring are very good, as well as the background obtained due to a correct DOF.
TFS and greetings... Ricardo

Hello Peter,

Well, what a staggering picture! My experience with Parnassius is limited to several encounters with badly worn specimens in the Crimea many years ago. I've been told there's a number of isolated populations in Moscow region, their location is a secret for the uninitiated (and I think it's good).

Best regards,

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2006-09-09 8:53]

Hallo Peter,
diesen hab ich ja ganz verpasst, Debei praesentiert er sich so wunderschoen mit den ausgestreckten Fluegeln. Klasse hast du den Falter erwischt, die Farben und der Schaerfeverlauf sind einmalig. Wunderschoen auch die Bildgestaltung mit der klasse Freistellung.

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2006-09-09 22:01]

Oh Peter, your butterfly is beautiful. It looks so exquisite here on the flower, and especially with the blurred BG. She is so sharp and clear, and her red dot on the wing is very eye catching. Thank you,

No words! Perfect!!!

Hallo Peter,
i understood! You keep me envy with this beautiful butterfly :-) i love that red spots on the white wings. With that beautiful flower and bg, the composition looks great. i'm curious about if the oversharpen on the wings or if the texture of the wings like in the photo.
Best regards!

Hi, Peter:
Just catching up a little.. This is a beautiful portrait of a type of Apollo I have never met - you have to make a big effort to visit these local species. I was lucky enough to see very large numbers of P.a this summer, but it was so windy none of my shots were of a quality I would wish to share ;) I appreciate the work done to separate the subject from the background - but I think I would have preferred to see some more background texture retained?
Best wishes, Nigel

  • Great 
  • cedryk Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 50 N: 1722] (5270)
  • [2006-10-18 20:39]

Hello Peter,
Excellent exposure and details. Good diagonal composition. I have never seen this species before, so TFS!!!
Best greetings,

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