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Parnassius sacerdos, female.

Parnassius sacerdos, female.
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, Workshop
Theme(s): European Butterflies 7, Hohe Tauern National Park [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-09-08 7:30
Viewed: 8243
Favorites: 7 [view]
Points: 80
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Parnassius sacerdos (Stichel, 1906),

Small Apollo.

Family: Papilionidae.

Wing span: approx. 60 - 65mm.

Having been lucky to find a female of this rare endemite species peacefully sucking on Scabiosa near a mountain river coming from the glaciers of Grossglockner at an elevation of 2100m, I may also offer a look at the colourful underside of the same individual as shown in my previous posting.

By the way: Males of the genus Apollo have developed a strange but very effective way of making sure that a female will not have a second lover. When making love they are producing some kind of glue that instantly hardens after copulation and blocks the female genital parts against another copulation. That seal, called "sphragis", is shaped like a little hollow bag, and can be seen when looking closely at the tip of a female Parnassius' abdomen - vaguely even here in this image to the right of the lower end where I discovered it when preparing the image for presentation.

For more information on the species and its taxonomy, please see my previous postings to TN:


Parnassius sacerdos, male.
Parnassius sacerdos, female, upper side.

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.bai.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, 1/640 sec., ISO-125, hand held, no flash.
20.08.2006, 11:15.

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

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

limier, horia, SkyF, uleko, marhowie, gitirana, RAP, hansh, clnaef, phlr, XOTAELE, Argus, magal, jmp, jeanpaul, sgo, coasties, scottevers7, goutham_ramesh, vanderschelden, fyapici, eruyanik, ramthakur, Christopher_PL, TAZ has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To wishnugaruda: Brautpeter_stoeckl 1 09-15 17:06
To ramthakur: clean BGs, and over-busy backgroundspeter_stoeckl 1 09-15 13:16
To sgo: eidospeter_stoeckl 1 09-09 08:31
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Critiques [Translate]

  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2006-09-08 7:37]
  • [2]

Hallo Peter,
wow.. das ging sofort zu meinen Favoriten. Der Schaerfeverlauf ist genial, totale Schaerfe am Falter und doch geht optisch der Fluegelrand in den Hintergrund ueber ohne Schaerfe zu velieren. Die Farbenkombination und die Bildgestaltung sind wunderschoen.

Hi Peter
Happy to see from you this lovely specie to me.
Appolo appears for first time this summer to my village.
Who knows from where or i never seen it before.
Wonderful composition with the Butterfly sucking the flower nice details ang great BG
See you

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2006-09-08 7:38]

Hi Peter

Another super shot of this beautiful butterfly!
This too is a great POV, also very sharp details, great pale BG amd wonderful colors, both on the butterfly and the flower :)

Bravo and TFS

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2006-09-08 7:47]

Wonderful sharp shot! It's such a delicate butterfly and you've portrayed it beautifully here. Good colours and nice neutral background.
TFS, Ulla

Hello Peter!
Excellent shot of this pretty butterfly. Spot on focus and just the right amount of DOF give great sharpness to the main subject and, at the same time, make the stem of the flower blurred which is a very nice effect. I also like a lot the fact that the back of the wings and the background colors are very similar. Very good job!

Great colours.. great DOF.. great composition..very good macro..!!

TFS greetz Kristy

Hello Peter,

I like the underside of this beauty almost as much as the upperside that you posted earlier.

Best regards,

Hello Peter,
This is another excellent shot of the Sacerdos.
I like this one just as much as the last..
More red here..Well composed and very good sharp detail, color, light, DOF, and BG.
Again - Very well done.

Hi Peter
Beautiful butterfly! Great photo with a excellent composition, focus and light.

wonderful butterfly again - great detail and excelletn OOF BG....

Just a quick critique - at work...

  • Great 
  • jossim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1538 W: 5 N: 2240] (12636)
  • [2006-09-08 8:47]

Bonjour Peter!
Excellente photo,félicitations pour les couleurs wt netteté.


  • Great 
  • RAP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2524 W: 345 N: 2373] (7405)
  • [2006-09-08 8:52]

Otra gran entrega con excelente composición y sobre todo post procesamiento para limpiar la imagen de la flor y su huesped.
Buena nitidez, intensos colores y excelente encuadre.
Una vez más... buen trabajo.
Saludos... Ricardo

Another great post with excellent composition and mainly post process to clean the image of the flower and their guest. Good sharpness, intense colors and excellent framing.
Once again... good work.
Regards... Ricardo

  • Great 
  • hansh Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 277 W: 1 N: 741] (2762)
  • [2006-09-08 9:30]

Hello Peter.
This is a beauty. Very sharp, well colored and a great DOF and POV. Very well done and tfs.
Gr. Hans

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2006-09-08 9:58]

Hello Peter,
Excellent capture.POV,clear details,sharpness,colors and composition are wonderful.Have a graet weekend too!

  • Great 
  • clnaef Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 778 W: 67 N: 645] (6814)
  • [2006-09-08 10:22]

Magnifique papillon plein de détail !
Bonne journée.

Bonita mariposa, buenos colores, detalles y muy buen ojo por tu parte al darte cuenta de esa característica (sphragis).
Un saludo. JL

  • Great 
  • carper Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1973 W: 119 N: 2582] (8439)
  • [2006-09-08 11:32]

a quality job Peter,
a realy fantastic shot, good in composition, atmosphere, details, composition, point in view and dof, this is for me a perfect shot, my compliments for it, well done.
gr., jaap

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2006-09-08 11:34]

Another winner, Peter. How many of these super shots have you taken of this rare butterfly?
TFS, regards, Ivan

  • Great 
  • magal Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 224 W: 0 N: 313] (1251)
  • [2006-09-08 11:51]

Hi Peter,
Another splendid shot of this beautiful butterfly with a different but equally excellent POV. The play of light is fantastic and the way the stalk blurs away into the BG is very artistic

  • Great 
  • batu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1079 W: 293 N: 4497] (16383)
  • [2006-09-08 12:46]

Hallo Peter,
perfekt und wunderschön, viel mehr muss man nicht sagen!
Schöne Grüße, Peter

  • Great 
  • wuta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 855 W: 2 N: 617] (2142)
  • [2006-09-08 13:40]

Hello Peter, beauty butterfly never seen this before ,compliments , tfs ,Greetings Teunie .

Hi Peter,
For me, it's like a painting...! Lovely picture! Wonderful composition! Very nice work!


  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2006-09-08 16:38]

Hi Peter,
This half translucent butterfly es really beautiful and smart. Excellent pov, details, focus, composition and flower. Colors in the shot are really aesthetic.
Best regars,
José M.

Bonjour Peter
Belle présentation et belle prise en macro avec ce joli papillon , comme tous tes autres que tu nous as envoyés,les couleurs et la nettetée sont très bonnes, belle composition .
Au revoir et félicitation ....JP

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2006-09-08 23:08]

A different but equally beautiful view of this wonderful butterfly.
I really think the colors and designs on it are exquisite.
And you are showing its beauty very well in a wonderful composition.
TFS. : )

  • Great 
  • sgo Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 137 W: 32 N: 239] (718)
  • [2006-09-09 0:34]
  • [+]

Hi Peter,
This is a truly great picture of the P. sacerdos, an extraordinary achievement! It is just beautiful, nothing missing, so transparent - words failing to express the impression I would say: In the beginning was the image/eidos...and yours is coming perfectly close to the idea of the P. sacerdos!
Wish you a very nice week-end my friend,

Hi Peter

Congrats on an excellent shot. Well composed, good clear detail and nicely saturated colour. :-)

Hi Peter,
Superb macro shot!Details,sharpness,colors and composition are perfect...TFS.Hilmi

encore une tres belle macro avec la encore le bout des ailes qui semble transparent.excellente couleurs.

Hi Peter,
Amazing! A very beautiful and perfectly composed shot. Detail is very sharp, and it is perfeclty isolated from the backround. Superb camea work!

Hi Peter,
This is a great catch with excellent details, POV, DOF, composition and colors. This is a prefect shot of a butterfly. Thanks for sharing this beauty. Regards,

Hi peter,

Good picture, great composition , colors and exposure. The depth you have achieved is amazing.

Goutham R

Beautiful capture. Awesome butterfly.
Well done

Thank you for sharing! I never saw this butterfly. About quality, composition etc... no words!

Hallo Peter.
I agree with Sky :) Es musst sofort zu meinen Favoriten gehen :) Vielen Danke für diese wundershön Foto. Mit herzliche Grüsse aus der Türkei.

This one looks floating on a green sea :-) Another pov and the other side of the wings is beautiful too!

Hi Peter!
I am delighted to be back on the TN after a prolonged absence and be able to enjoy pictures like this one you have posted today.
I admire your POV, DOF and the use of ambient light. The BG is just perfect, though I wonder how one goes about achieving this effect; I ended up with over-busy backgrounds while shooting butterflies and other insects in India recently.
Thanks for sharing this gem of a picture.

Hallo Peter - das ist ja atemberaubend schön .... Bin ganz hin und weg!
Der sieht aus wie eine "Braut" - lach' nicht, aber irgendwie empfinde ich das so ;-)
Ich war ja am Gardasee und hab' auf dem Monte Baldo meinen ersten Dickkopffalter gesehen, bislang flog mir noch niemals einer zuvor ins Blickfeld. Also bin ich auch happy - aber so eine Schönheit anzutreffen - meine "Wunschliste" wird immer länger ...
Vielen Dank für diesen Augenschmauß, tschüssi
Sabine - wishnugaruda

I really would like to see it with my own eyes!
Perfect colours and composition. Thanks


Hallo Peter,

Wonderful photo
brilliant composition and POV.
Extreme sharp
Perfect details

Gr Thijs

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2006-09-28 1:33]

Pleasant close-up for this Apollo. Good point of view. The composition is simple and smart. Sharpness, DOF and BG are very good. This summer I saw few Apollo but I couldn't make photo...
Congratulations Peter.

Hello Peter.

Excellent picture, very good details and colors.


lovely flowers captured beautifully..

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