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Lycaena virgaureae, male.

Lycaena virgaureae, male.
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: 2006-07-15
Categories: Insects
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC-H5
Exposure: f/4, 1/500 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Lycaenidae Butterflies, Naturpark Oetztal [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-02-01 11:42
Viewed: 4581
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 48
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Lycaena virgaureae, male.

Vitfläckig Guldvinge.

Showing the underside might well demonstrate the reasons for the Swedish name of one of my favorite butterflies - beloved by many of us, and presented quite often here on TN.

Lycaena virgaureae (Linnaeus, 1758)
Scarce Copper,
Vitfläckig Guldvinge,
Argo verga d’oro,
Argus Satiné,
Manto de Oro,
Czerwończyk dukacik,
Ohniváčik zlatobyľový,
Ohniváček celíkový,

Family Lycaenidae (Blues).

Wing span 30 - 35mm.

Sunny afternoon on a mountain meadow near Vent in the Tyrol. No one has to get up early to meet these pretty little jewel butterflies. They seem to be on their wings the whole day as long as the sun is shining.

The males of this species show bright golden red iridescent structural colours on the upper side of their wings, obviously a strongly developed signal for intraspecies communication between the sexes.

Caterpillars feed on Rumex acetosa. If you are lucky, and wet meadows environment is still undisturbed, butterflies can be met from June to August in one extended generation.

The species is locally distributed from Portugal and Spain, central and northern Europe, central Asia to Mongolia. Not reported from the UK, northwestern France, the Netherlands, southern Italy. In central Europe, Heodes virgaureae prefers mountain locations, going up to approximately 2500m in the Alps.

The picture seems to show the alpine subspecies:

Lycaena virgaureaue montanus (Meyer-Dür 1851),

with broad dark margins, and a small dark apical spot on the uppersides of forewings, reported from Austrian, Bavarian, French, and Italian alpine meadows at elevations 1700 - 2000m.

The location:

The valley of Rofen to near the mountain village of Vent in the Tyrol, at an elevation of approx. 2050 meters.


L.G. Higgins, N.D. Riley: A Field Guide to the Butterflies of Britain and Europe. London 1970,
Deutsche Ausgabe: L.G. Higgins, N.D. Riley, W. Forster (bearb.): Die Tagfalter Europas und Nordwestafrikas, Hamburg und Berlin 1978²

C. Jonko: European Butterflies.

The camera:

SONY DSC-H5, 3072 x 2304 pixel, sRGB, 16mm, F/4, 1/500 sec., ISO-125; 15.07.2006, 16:20.

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

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

Special greetings to my friends in Sweden.

dew77, ellis49, JoseMiguel, XOTAELE, uleko, cataclysta, Juyona, Alex99, sgo, emmari, oki, cicindela, coasties, anel, phlr, lgfoto, snowfalken has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To snowfalken: ...fill flash to light up the shadows or notpeter_stoeckl 2 02-07 06:31
To Maite: ... cleaned BGpeter_stoeckl 1 02-04 13:43
To cicindela: ... name in so many European languagespeter_stoeckl 1 02-02 05:32
To Janice: Czerwończyk dukacik ...peter_stoeckl 1 02-02 04:31
To oki: ... notebooks screenpeter_stoeckl 3 02-02 04:10
To batu: Grünübergänge sind nicht so homogen. Monitor?peter_stoeckl 2 02-01 14:50
To ellis49: ... title in Swedishpeter_stoeckl 1 02-01 14:12
To sgo: precious ducatpeter_stoeckl 1 02-01 14:05
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2007-02-01 11:44]

Hello Peter,
Magnificent butterfly close up.Exposure is spot on,details are crisp clear.I liked POV,use of backlight,vivid colors and simple BG a lot.Have a great day!

Hello Peter,
I like a lot this picture!
I don't know how do you do it, but the overall quality is so good...the background looks just magnificent, with that gradient color transition so harmonic with the main subject.
POV works excellent with the light present.
Details on the head, antennas and flower are so sharp and clear ones.
The side illumination of the wings creates a such very good effect.
Another great photo with your unmistakable trademark quality.
Congratulations, thanks for share and my best regrds,

Hej Peter,
Thanks for this great picture, I was very suprised when I saw the title in Swedish.
The colours and light are very nice. The details are very good and the DOF as well, the subject is well seen against the nicely blurred BG.
Beautiful work, my friend.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-02-01 12:16]

Hello Peter,
This is a really lovely shot taken from a very nice angle. Great sharpness and lovely colour. I particularly like the light on the wings and the soft green background. Very nice composition.
TFS and regards, Ulla

Muy buena captura, con estupendos colores y detalles muy nítidos. Una nota muy interesante.
Saludos, JL.

Hello Peter
Fantastic light, great POV and beautiful colors. I like it very much
Best wishes

  • Great 
  • batu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1079 W: 293 N: 4497] (16383)
  • [2007-02-01 12:25]
  • [+]

Hallo Peter,
wir haben uns heute beide für den Sommer entschieden. Der ist für uns Insektenforografen natürlich spannender als die jetzige Zeit. Trotzdem wünsche ich mir - eigentlich der Nature - mehr Winter.
Das Licht ist sehr schön eingefangen - die Dukatenflügel machen sich selber Ehre. Auch die 'Ringelsöckchen' sind deutlich und scharf sichtbar. Diese Details gefallen mir immer sehr.
Ich habe seit gestern einen neuen Flachbildschirm. Mein Röhrengerät ist mir zu meinem Bedauern durchgebrannt. Die Bilddarstellung gefiel mir damit wesentlich besser. Vielleicht habe ich auch mit dem 'Neuen' noch nicht die richtigen Einstellungen gefunden. Jedenfalls sieht der Hintergrund deines Bildes etwas fleckig aus, die Grünübergänge sind nicht so homogen. Liegt das jetzt an meimem Monitor?
Schöne Grüße, Peter

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2007-02-01 12:42]

Hola Peter.
Magnífica macro y bella composición, colores y tonos preciosos, magnífica luz... saludos

bonjour peter
bravo il n'y a rien a reprocher a cette photo.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2007-02-01 13:08]

Hi, dear Peter.
Open your secret. How do you prepare for your paints? What is the structure, what are the proportions?

Fantastic dynamic range of green colour tones. Tremendous richness of colour palette of the butterfly and flower. Amazing direction and expressiveness of the light. Details of the pictured objects are extraordinary. I have read the detailed note with great interest too. BRAVO and my best wishes.
Yours Alexei.

Hola Peter.
Magnifica imagen de esa mariposa.
Muy buena toma, nitidez y luz.
Un saludo.

  • Great 
  • emmari Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 105 W: 0 N: 387] (3105)
  • [2007-02-01 14:31]

Hello Peter,
This is indeed a great picture, with beautiful soft tones.

  • Great 
  • wuta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 855 W: 2 N: 617] (2142)
  • [2007-02-01 14:58]

Hello Peter , Fantastic capture from the butterfly beauty colours details sharpnes compositie nice green bg ,tfs Greetings Teunie .

  • Great 
  • sgo Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 137 W: 32 N: 239] (718)
  • [2007-02-01 15:04]
  • [+]

Dear Friend,
Like a glimmering bract minted from the golden rod or virg[a]aurea sprung up there in the midst of the meadow and metamorphosed into this precious ducat of yours, shining forth in splendid glory, translucent, of celestial beauty - this is yet one of your non plus ultra's! Thank you very much Peter for this magnificent tribute to the great artistry of nature that is perennially fulfilling its cosmic design of the eidos/idea ideal!
With cordial greetings from sgo, one of your friends in Sweden

  • Great 
  • Maite Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 998 W: 65 N: 1270] (5199)
  • [2007-02-01 15:09]
  • [+]

Hello Peter
You have to tell me how you do that, a cleaned bg. Amazing result!!
You have made a great capture and the composition is really stunning. I love its lighting and colors.
Congratulations, my friend. It's a real humdinger.

  • Great 
  • oki Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 79 W: 10 N: 114] (587)
  • [2007-02-01 15:18]
  • [+]

Hi Peter,

amazing shot - colors, composition, details - just superb.
Only little point of criticism is the noise on the top of the image - maybe it's due to my notebooks screen.

Thanks for sharing - really one of the best photos of a butterfly I've ever seen!!!

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2007-02-01 16:12]

Hi Peter,
This Manto de Oro looks fine with back light that brings a beautiful glow to golden wings. Huge job of cleaning in th background!
Best regards, José M.

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2007-02-01 22:20]
  • [+]

Superb capture of the Czerwończyk dukacik Peter - see I can talk Polish(???) Well, it looks like Polish.
The lighting makes this pic look really good, and the flower makes a great landing board for him. Very well presented, TFS

Hi Peter

Lovely light in this shot. Good clear details especially around the head area. The BG is stunning. Congrats!

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2007-02-02 3:30]

Hallo Peter,
Ein Bild voller Sonnenschein. Wie das Licht so schön die Flügel "durch"leuchtet.Exzellente Komposition und sich ergänzende Fartöne. Das mit den Flecken ärgert mich ein wenig, hätte man es nicht erwähnt, würde man sie nicht so wahrnehemen..sacré batu!
Liebe Grüsse

Hello Peter!
It is nice to see your new photo! :) As always it has a good quaity and composition. I really like the POV, butterfly looks on this flower with "nothing" next to it.
I also like your note, and especially its name in so many European languages. This is a great idea to present species in such way - everybody will find native name :)
TFS and best greetings,

  • Great 
  • RAP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2524 W: 345 N: 2373] (7405)
  • [2007-02-02 13:09]

Hermosa composición con bellos detalles estéticos Peter a partir de una maravillosa iluminación que produce un gran efecto sobre la mariposa y su percha.
Me gusta la claridad de detalles, el correcto foco y la perfecta difusión del fondo que realza el primer plano de la presentación.
El punto de vista captado amerita el gran encuadre cuadrado.
Mis mejores saludos... Ricardo

Beautiful composition with nice aesthetic details Peter starting from a wonderful lighting that produces a great effect on the butterfly and their hanger.
I like the clarity of details, the correct focus and the perfect diffusion of the bottom that it enhances the forefront of presentation.
The point of view captured deserved the great framing square.
Es muy agradable la inclusión del Workshop mostrando la mariposa con sus alas extendidas también.
It is very pleasant the inclusion of Workshop also showing the butterfly with their extended wings.
My best regards... Ricardo

  • Great 
  • lgfoto Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 194 W: 13 N: 279] (1536)
  • [2007-02-02 15:37]

Hi quality finishing, I like the blurred background which makes pop up the details.TFS.

Hello Peter,

Here is another excellent and colorful butterfly picture from you! By presenting such great butterfly pictures you make me want to try this photography technique with the main light source in the back of the subject myself. It seems it works very well for both butterflies and flowers. I only wonder whether you fired the flash (fill flash) to light up the shadows or not. Whatever the technique, it only takes you half the way if it weren't for your beautiful composition with a soft, blurred background which makes the butterfly and flower stand out so well. Also exposure is very well achieved and I guess a lens hood or some kind of lens protection against the strong backlight was necessary in order to take this shot. You handled the light very cleverly.
The colors are bright and the effect of the translucent wings of the butterfly truly make me feel like being on a hilltop on a sunny summer day!
The details are sharply rendered, with no harsh shadows and are perfectly ballanced by the almost plain background. There is simply nothing to distract from the subject in this picture.
A well documented and useful note completes your posting. Overall, an excellent picture both artistically and technically! Very well done! Congratulations and thank you!

Warmest Regards,

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