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Nettle-tree Butterfly/Libythea celtis

Nettle-tree Butterfly/Libythea celtis
Photo Information
Copyright: Marcello Romano (marcellr) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 208 W: 38 N: 1012] (3514)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2004-06-23
Categories: Insects
Camera: Nikon Coolpix 4300
Exposure: f/7.6, 1/320 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-12-18 13:47
Viewed: 5240
Points: 32
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note

Libythea celtis (Laicharting 1782)

Common English Name: Nettle-tree Butterfly

Libythea celtis is a fascinating and strange butterfly.
Wingspans is about 34-44 mm.
It has unusual wings and a long palpi.
This is Europe's only example of the Snout subfamily (Nymphalidae, Libytheinae) of butterflies.
It is so called because the butterflies have highly modified labial palpi that are extended beyond the head - resembling a long nose.
Its name is tengu-cho in Japanese. Tengu is a long-nosed goblin, and cho is a butterfly.
It is a highly cryptic butterfly looking exceedingly like a dead leaf when it rests amongst leaf litter. As the butterfly hibernates this will give it better chances of survival amongst dead leaves. Its hindwing also has a lobe which extends beyond the forewing when at rest, thus breaking up the typical outline of a butterfly. Plus the margins of both wings are also highly irregular. Again this will help with survival during the cold months when the butterfly is vulnerable to warm blooded predators. In spring the hibernated butterflies can be found flying around its budding foodplant - the Nettle Tree, Celtis australis.
The species is generally local, often uncommon, and has a southerly distribution in Europe.
It flies across southern Europe and also on several of the Mediterranean islands in
summer before hibernating in the extreme heat of August, not re-emerging until the first warm days of spring.
So, their flight time is late June – August, and March after hibernation.

WaterSprite, cicindela, accassidy, lousat, haraprasan, jrobertop, jcoowanitwong, Silvio2006, mariki, Argus, anel, meyerd, Maite, Christopher_PL has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2007-12-18 13:56]

Questa foto greca e' un gioiellino,non so se dai noi scorazzano questi modelli esclusivi.eheheh..veramente un esemplare molto interessante,non commento la qualita' della foto perche' non ce n'e' bisogno,ciao Luciano

Hi Marcello,
I really like this shot. The way the background is slightly blurred and everything in front of the log is in perfect focus. Interesting and unique critter! TFS!

Hello Marcello!
What an interesting butterfly species! I like especially its head - very unusual shape :)
DOF and POV are very good, also sharpness and details. And - as always, note is very informative.
Best greetings,

Ciao Marcello,
Excellent lighting and colours. Shots of butterflies on the ground are always difficult because the background is right there and will not go away. However, the stick it is standing on is very sharp and anchors the composition, while the rest of the butterfly is detailed enough to keep our attention. The colours show little contrast, which underlines your point in the notes about camouflage. The dead leaf out of focus behind the snout is both annoying in that it prevents a clear outline of the head, but it is valuable because it breaks up the outline and makes the camouflage point yet again. Lastly, an interesting insect I have never seen in the flesh, so thanks.


Hi Marcello,
This is probably for the first time I am seeing the beauty on TN. Very nice composition and excellent details good notes too. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Hi Marcello,
Very beautiful butterfly!
Excellent coloration and sharpness.
Very good POV, texture and details.
Congratulations and TFS!
José Roberto

Hi Marcello,
This is a strange looking butterfly and well adapted for survival. Your shot is sharp and well exposed. POV and composition are great. Also enjoy reading your informative note.

Hello Marcello,

Great picture of this butterfly. Nice composition. Excellent sharpness and beautiful natural colours.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-12-19 2:28]

Ciao Marcello,
Fine capture of L. celtis from Greece showing a sharp close view of the underside in a nice composition against a gravel BG.
A good one from your archives!

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2007-12-19 3:53]

Bonjour Marcello,
Effectivement un papillon à la forme étrange que je n'ai encore malheureusement jamais vu. Le monde et sa biodiversité, c'est quand même formidable. Essayons de la protéger.
Merci aussi pour la notice très informative. Bonne journée

Ciao Marcello, strana farfalla, è la prima volta che la vedo, grazie, eccellente qualità e grandi dettagli, come al solito, bravo, ciao Silvio

Very interesting species, unique and special.
Best regards

Hi Marcello,
thanks to you I finally get to see a Libythea. You did a wonderful portrait of it. It looks quite mysterious this way. The picture conveys the extreme cryptic body shape and coloration very well. You did a fine piece of work, Marcello.
My best regards,

Ciao Marcello,
Great pov with total sharpness, warm colouration and so much details to view and enjoy your captured!
very well done and composed

  • Great 
  • Maite Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 998 W: 65 N: 1270] (5199)
  • [2007-12-22 9:35]

What a marvellous capture, dear Marcello!!
How curious and funny this butterfly with that long nose! Splendid sharpness with crips details and fantastic POV, DOF and composition.
Congratulations and TFS

Perfect shot of this southern butterfly. I would like to take a picture of it by myself ;-D


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