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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: 2008-03-15
Categories: Insects
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC-H5
Exposure: f/4.5, 1/1000 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Alex99 favorite photos, Vienna Woods - Biosphaerenpark Wienerwald [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-03-16 14:11
Viewed: 6524
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 56
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note

Last Saturday, the 15th of March, was an unexpectedly sunny and warm day that invited us to go to Eichkogel, one of our favourite nature reserves near the city of Vienna. Finding its hilltop grasslands covered with fresh blossoms of Anemone vernalis and Pulsatilla grandis, and the forest ground coloured violet all over with patches of sweet smelling Viola odorata, we finally got even more rewarded by a large reddish brown butterfly rapidly flying circles around us, and then taking a seat on a tree trunk just in front of us, basking in the warm sun of late afternoon.

It was a well shaped hibernated female of the Large Tortoiseshell to start this year’s butterfly season for us:

Nymphalis polychloros (Linnaeus, 1758)

Large Tortoiseshell - Grosser Fuchs - Grote vos – Körsbärsfuks – Kirsebarsommerfugl – Kirsebartakvinge – Kirsikkaperhonen - Rusałka wierzbowiec - Babôčka brestová - Babočka jilmová - Многоцветница садовая - Grand Tortue - Olmera

Family: Nymphalidae

Wingspan: 55 – 60mm

North Africa, Europe, temperate Asia.

Widespread through the palaearctic region from Northwest Africa through the southern parts of Europe into temperate Asia, the Large Tortoiseshell has always been described to be a rare guest to southern England and southern Scandinavia, but during the last few decades it has also become quite scarce in other parts of central Europe - possibly due to pesticides brought out on apple trees, pear trees, cherry trees that are some of its caterpillar’s favourite feeding plants. According to literature, caterpillars are accepting a large spectre of other decidous trees just as well: Ulmus glabra, Salix caprea, Cerasus avium, Populus tremula, Sorbus torminalis, Crataegus monogyna. So the reason for the species’ disappearance has not really been solved yet.

In southern Europe, where N. polychloros can still be seen regularly in good numbers, the butterfly may be seen in two generations. North of the Alps, there is one generation in summer from June to September, with butterflies hibernating and re-emerging in March and April.

Dry leaf or tree bark camouflage on the underside of wings.

Hope you enjoy.


Tom Tolman, Richard Lewington: Die Tagfalter Europas und Nordwestafrikas. Stuttgart 1998.

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

Walter Schön: Schmetterling - Raupe: http://www.schmetterling-raupe.de


SONY DSC-H5, 3072 x 2304 pixel, sRGB, 72mm tele macro (= 456mm at 35mm SLR), F/4.5, 1/1000sec., ISO-125; hand held, no flash; 15.03.2008, 16:38.


Photoshop Elements, slightly cropped, downsized to web, resharpened, brightness, contrast and saturation adjusted.

Hope you enjoy.

Thank you for visiting.
Have a very good day.

mariki, cicindela, eqshannon, Proframe, crs, anel, uleko, Argus, Miss_Piggy, Christopher_PL, Alex99, SkyF, meyerd, marcellr, jmp, phlr, Juyona, loot, TAZ, valy67, magiqa, Hormon_Manyer 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 loot: ... the willing subjectpeter_stoeckl 1 05-01 12:00
To Alex99: ... diagonal structurepeter_stoeckl 2 03-22 07:17
To meyerd: Erlebnis im Vorjahrpeter_stoeckl 1 03-20 04:30
To marcellr: Grazie, Marcellopeter_stoeckl 1 03-20 03:46
To Miss_Piggy: Thank you!peter_stoeckl 1 03-20 03:37
To SkyF: ... Osterhasen im Schneepeter_stoeckl 1 03-20 03:10
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Nilson Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 488 W: 0 N: 566] (4423)
  • [2008-03-16 14:56]

Belissima foto muito bem trabalhado com perfeição em todo inseto boas cores nitides e composição parabéns.

Hello Peter!
It is really nice to see your new picture, especially so "fresh" one! In Lodz region we still have temperature about +5-7C so there is no chance for any "normal" insect now. And that is additional reason why I like to watch your spring butterfly!
Anyway, it has very good quality! Well saturated colours, very good sharpness and DoF make this image a very optimistic and sunny photo :)
All the best and TFS!

You do not post as much as many but you seem to know what to post...when it is quality images of things such as this...Fine photo Peter! Spring is coming in a few days and then we warm up very much as will see these here as well...good show sir!

Very nice butterfly image Peter.
Wonderful to see that springtime is back and these colorful butterflies do fly around again.
Lovely clors and details and the composition with the diagonal line of the wings is excellent.

Best regards, Harry

Hello Peter,
very good size posting of this butterfly to enjoy the closeness in sharpness, vivid colour and details of it
a pleasant image well done
best regards

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2008-03-16 21:09]

Hello Peter,
What a gorgeous butterfly!
It looks like spring has sprung in your part of the world. : )
The colors are just brilliant, thanks to the beautiful light.
Exquisite details.
TFS. : )

  • Great 
  • crs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 469 W: 0 N: 922] (3551)
  • [2008-03-16 21:49]

Hi Peter,

It is alois nice to meet the buterflyes early in spring. They are a nice colored presence in the sunny days. Your photo shows that. Good natural looking and beautiful colors has your insect. You used very well the good light in which the buterfly was bathing obtaining very good details of insect's body and wings.

Thank you for sharing,

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2008-03-17 0:06]

Lieber Peter,
Viel Glück hast Du gehabt einen Grossen Fuchs einzufangen. Er zeigte sich in bester Lage und gutem Licht. Wahrscheinlich ein Exemplar, das überwintert hat, sieht aber erstaunlich frisch aus. Wie immer stimmen Komposition, Schärfe, Farbenkombination. Und auch herzlichen Dank für deine immer vollständigen Begleittexte.
Jetzt kann ich Dir nur noch genügend Zeit wünschen, um das neu aufkommende Leben in der Natur aufzufangen und es mit uns von Zeit zu Zeit zu teilen.
Herzliche Grüsse

Hello Peter,

Very nice presentation of this beautiful butterfly. Good POV and sharpness. Great light and colours. It was rather warm here also but I have not seen yet any butterfly.

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-03-17 2:24]

Fabulous shot of this Large Tortoise-shell!
A really good frame-filling diagonal composition and a superb parallel POV.
Vibrent colours and excellent lighting.
Brilliant detail and sharpness.
Superbly well done Peter,


  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-03-17 3:28]

Hello Peter,
This is an excellent capture of the Large Tortoishell, a rarely seen butterfly here but it does occur south of us so we hope to see it this spring.
I like your composition and details of this fresh-looking specimen are superb. Beautiful natural colours too. Interesting note and this Nature Reserve must be a wonderful place!
Many thanks, Ulla

Hi Peter

Good shot of this lovely butterfly in full sun.
Excellent sharpness and good diagonal composition.


  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-03-17 6:04]

Hello Peter,
First you show us the real arrival of spring by posting a fine pasque flower image and then you regale us with this beauty!
The Large Tortoiseshell butterfly is very scarce in Sweden and I have only seen it twice so that to photograph it like this to show a fine female sunning herself in the spring would be a dream come true for me.
The technical aspects are great and you can see that she has freshy come out of hibernation by the body being swollen with eggs.
Thanks for sharing this rare beauty,
Best wishes, Ivan

Hallo Peter
What an extremely beautiful golden coloured butterfly. The patterns, markings and colours are divine and out of this world. I actually see this as a perfect peace of artwork. It is as if each line and marking was hand painted. Just love the way you presented this beauty. It fills my whole screen. Focus, sharpness and clarity are super. This is really splendid and a pleasure to observe. This is a truly lovely photo and it makes me looking again and again, because once is not enough. Thanks for sharing. I appreciated this one very much.
Kind regards

Hello Peter,
Excellent shot of this Spring butterfly. I very like diagonal pictures ;-)


  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-03-17 10:03]
  • [+]

Hi, dear Peter.
One of the best butterfly pictures which I have ever seen. Outstanding in every aspect shot. I am impressed with cool diagonal structure of the image, Fantastic sharpness and details of the butterfly and old wood, great, terrific colourfull smooth BG. Lighting, shadows, richness of colour palette are stunning. My congratulations and best regards.
P.S. WS supplements the main shot perfectly. Many thanks for these amazing works.

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2008-03-17 13:09]
  • [+]

Hallo Peter,
na da ist ja noch sein ein schoener Fruehlingsbote. Ihr seid uns wirklich weit voraus, denn wir werden den Osterhasen im Schnee suchen muessen.
Klasse Aufnahme mit excellenter Schaerfe. Die Farben und Texturen kommen in diesem Licht super zur Geltung.

Hallo Peter,
wohl gelungen, Dein erster Schuss des Jahres. Der frühe Auftritt des Grossen Fuchses erinnert mich an ein ähnliches Erlebnis im Vorjahr. Du benützt Sony Cybershot mit dembZeiss Objektiv und machst damit tolle Bilder: ich weiss also, was ich als nächstes kaufen soll.
Herzlich grüsst

Ciao Peter,
complimenti per la magnifica immagine.
Messa a fuoco ed inquadratura superbe!
Inserisco questa immagine fra le mie preferite.
Buona Pasqua,

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2008-03-19 15:03]

Hi Peter,
Impeccable capture in every aspect: pose, pov, exposure, composition, sharpness... and the wood/far background framed this beatiful butterfly in a really attractive way.
TFS and best regads mf,
José Miguel

Excelente luz y mucha limpieza en los colores Peter. La textura de muchas mariposas da la impresión de que falle el enfoque, cuando en realidad está bien enfocada y son brillos, por lo que hay que concentrarse para observarla bien. Encuadre, posadro y fondo acertados.
Buen trabajo !!
Un saludo: Josep Ignasi Tejedor

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2008-04-09 13:32]

Genial trabajo Peter,
buenos colores y foco...
hermoso encuadre y estupenda diagonal.
sobresaliente macro amigo.

  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2008-04-16 14:22]
  • [3] [+]

Hi Peter

This is neat man. Such beauty is a feast on the eyes. The intricate patterns of the butterfly and that dainty short body are something else. But the question remains, how lucky can one get?

"Visiting the hilltop grasslands near the city of Vienna with the forest ground coloured violet all over with patches of sweet smelling Viola odorata, (as if this was not reward enough) we finally got even more rewarded by a large reddish brown butterfly rapidly flying circles around us, and then taking a seat on a tree trunk just in front of us, basking in the warm sun of late afternoon".

Not only did this butterfly invite you to the photo shoot, but it went and sat down and played the willing subject. Wow. You need to send that recipe to our South African butterflies. These guys here sure need to learn some manners.

Well at least I must compliment you for taking full reward of the given situation. This is an excellent macro of a beautiful insect. Superb details and splendid colour saturation packaged in an amazing diagonal composition. First class material my friend.

Well done and TFS.

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2008-04-18 9:24]

Hello dear Peter,
Amazing macro, it is a pleasure for my eyes ! European butterfly season starts :-)
The "+++" : composition, lovely species, POV, sharpness, DOF, blurred BG, exposure, warm colors, useful complementary note...
The "-" : nothing...
Congratulations my old friend and thanks for sharing,

  • Great 
  • valy67 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1727 W: 59 N: 3060] (9219)
  • [2008-05-01 15:13]

Hallo Peter !
Diese Schmätterlinge sieht man öfters mal in den Wiese, aber es ist immer wieder schön, ihn auf einem Bild zu sehen, besonders wenn das Bild so wuderbar schön ist wie dieses. Tolle scharfe details, und mir gefällt auch die schöne diagonale Komposition. Sehr sehr schön.
Vielen Dank und herzliche Grüssen,

  • Great 
  • Ken52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 636 W: 93 N: 1243] (4195)
  • [2008-05-22 8:30]

Exceptional detail and DOF. Nice rich colors. Outstanding composition.

Such a beauty - and the wings look like they were made of velvet.
Great photo!

Hi Peter,
Absolutely gorgeous macro with perfect details, lights, colors, DoF, everything... and most importantly, pleasant, smart composition. I know how difficult is to photograph this species - I myself never managed to, although tried a few times, so this is the No. 1 item on my neverending wish-list. :-) Thanks for sharing this beauty.
Kind regards from Ireland, László

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