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Libythea celtis.

Libythea celtis.
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: 2007-04-06
Categories: Insects
Camera: Panasonic LUMIX DMC FX07
Exposure: f/2.8, 1/1000 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): European Butterflies 7 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-04-20 9:49
Viewed: 6516
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 72
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Libythea celtis.

Not a Comma.

Walking Rilke’s Path from the Duino to Sistiania on a sunny day in Spring at noontime with good friends, our intention was to enjoy the view overlooking the deep blue Adriatic Sea from the rocks, have a good time walking, relaxing and sitting around at some of the breath taking viewpoints. Some very agile little brown butterflies did not really catch my attention, as I supposed them to be of a common species. But when one of them sat down on a branch in front of me for a few moments, I was surprised to recognize a species that I often wished to see, and never have seen before.

Libythea celtis (Laicharting, 1782)

Nettle-tree Butterfly
Škvrnáč brestový
Cípatec jižní
Mariposa del almez

Subfamily: Libytheinae
Family: Nymphalidae

Wingspan 35 – 45mm.

Member of a rather strange looking, very small group of butterflies, the Nettle-tree butterfly is the only European representative of a subfamily of about 10 species known from different continents. Distribution of L. celtis: Algeria, Tunesia, Southern Europe, Turkey, West and Central Asia, Northern India, China, Taiwan, Japan.

The butterfly is said to show up rather sporadic and local in its northern range of distribution, appearing in one generation in June and July, starting hibernation as early as in August, and reappearing in March and April from the coast up to an altitude of 500m. During summer it may go much higher up into the nearby mountains to escape the heat.

Caterpillars feed on Celtis australis (nettle tree).

The camera:
Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FX07, 3072 x 2304 pixel, sRGB, 5mm wideangle macro, F/2.8, 1/1000 sec., ISO-100; no tripod, no flash; 06.04.2007, 13:39.
This miniature camera always at hand for emergencies in the pocket of my jacket had to be tested for its macro capabilities on that occasion as the other camera was stowed away deep down in my rucksack.

Photoshop Elements, slightly cropped, downsized to the web, selectively resharpened, levels slightly adjusted.


L.G.Higgins, N.D.Riley: Die Tagfalter Europas und Nordwestafrikas. Verlag Paul Parey, Hamburg und Berlin 1978.

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

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

The reason for that butterfly`s German name may be well seen in another image of the same specimen:

>>> "Snout Butterfly".

To see the location, please click

>>> here.

Have a very good day.
Thank you for looking.

ridvan, Royaldevon, fartash, jmp, Alex99, limier, XOTAELE, phlr, delic, ramthakur, Adanac, horia, manyee, Janice, Hil, anel, sgo, star74, Christopher_PL, SkyF, snowfalken, cicindela, dew77, captainsgirl, meyerd has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To JoseMiguel: - the inclined posepeter_stoeckl 1 05-06 08:57
To snowfalken: - not missing this opportunity.peter_stoeckl 1 05-06 04:20
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Peter
Excellent sharpness,exposure and light

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-04-20 10:04]

Hello Peter,
I have the same wish as you had to photograph L. celtis, but unlike you I have yet to see it in real life.
Though this one has hibernated it appears to be relatively intact and your shot shows good detail and is well presented in an excellent diagonal comp.
Thanks for this one!
Have a nice weekend, Ivan

Luck is the message in photography (in general)...
...but you have to be there and do your thing.
Wonderful butterfly you captured here.
Congrats Peter

  • Great 
  • Bac Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 93 W: 3 N: 33] (486)
  • [2007-04-20 10:31]

The details is good, in fact all is good in the picture. TFS.


  • Great 
  • batu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1079 W: 293 N: 4497] (16383)
  • [2007-04-20 10:55]

Hallo Peter,
ein schöner Fang - hätte ich auch gerne einmal (leider beim letztenmal ohne Kamera). Besonders gefallen mir die grünne Reflexe auf den Flügeln. Das Bild zeigt den Falter in seiner vollen Pracht. Eine gelungene Komposition!
Schöne Grüße, Peter

Hello Peter,

A combination of a lucky chance and a trained look resulted in this excellent capture! I wish you even more luck in the future!

Best regards,

  • Great 
  • ridvan Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 498 W: 0 N: 1136] (5205)
  • [2007-04-20 11:05]

selam peter; amazing shot and nice comp with nice colours.good BG and details of this lovely butterfly. TFS
well done

Well, another wonderful butterfly shot, Peter! I love the sharp focus and the close detail! The butterfly shows up really well against the blurred background. I love it!
Kind regards,
Bev :-)

bonjour peter
celui-ci ressemble au comma il me semble.
j'aime beaucoup les petits reflets metaliques verts.
bonne netteté et bon POV.

Hello Peter
What a great shot of this Nettle-tree Butterfly,Excellent DOF and lighting,
Perfect compo and BG, Welldone.


  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2007-04-20 12:04]

Hi Peter,
Really rare and original wing desing! Perfect capture for its pose, pov, details and exposure. Good luck to find it to complete a perfect walk.
TFS and best regarf mf,
José M.

Hi Peter,
wunderschön - er glitzert so toll - gefällt mir sehr. So einen hab' ich noch nie gesehen, ich staune stets wie Du diese Exemplare findest und sie sich dann auch noch für Dich in Pose setzten.
Vielen Dank und Gruß
Sabine - wishnugaruda

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2007-04-20 12:37]

Hi Peter.
What a nice and so convenient for creation of masterpieces scene. Remote and neutrally coloured BG is suitable for this purpose excellently. I am glad that you have used this opportunity. The image of butterfly is simply perfect. I like the reproduction of all tiny colour tones and details of this beauty. Lighting is expressive too. Bravo. Superb work of butterfly writer of standing reputation. Thank you so much, my dear friend.

  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2007-04-20 12:41]

Hi peter,

an excellent capture,well exposed and focused,a butterfly I never saw before,tfs


  • Great 
  • limier Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 258 W: 14 N: 235] (1055)
  • [2007-04-20 14:10]

Hi Peter
I like to see your shots and reading your useful notes.
The story is good too and it seems that butterflies love your camera.
Excellent POV with the wings of the butterfly wide open, the great colors and the beautiful BG
For another time TFS and see you

Hola Peter.
Muy detallada esta mariposa.
Preciosos colores y magnífico encuadre en esta acertada exposición.
Saludos, JL

  • Great 
  • delic Gold Star Critiquer [C: 440 W: 6 N: 310] (898)
  • [2007-04-20 15:14]

H? Peter,
This is a most impressive photograph. Color and texture is well captured with superb detail. Great work!
Best wishes,

An extremely beautiful capture of this Nettle-tree butterfly, Peter.
I have seen this species for the first time and I am thrilled to be introduced to it through such a wonderful image of it.
Thanks and best regards.

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2007-04-20 21:09]

Hello Peter,
Amazing details and colors in this beautiful capture of this butterfly with the strangely shaped wings, thanks for sharing and the excellent note.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-04-21 3:27]

Hi Peter

Another splendid shot from you last trip which sounds more and more as being really interesitng and relaxing at the same time :)
I must also admit that when i saw the thumbnail, i said: Comma Butterfly :))
Only after openeing it i saw the different pattern from the wings and started reading your notes. By the way, if i mentioned the notes, i also took a look to that link you put there taht leads to the place where this was taken...it's magnificent!!!
Anyway, coming back to this great macro, i must also say that the DOF is perfectly managed. By that i mean that the entire subject is in full-focus while the BG is nicely blurred but still understandable as for a good image of the habitat.
The exposure is also spot-on and due to that all the colors came out lovely and well saturated.
The composition is great, too, with the diagonal disposition of the branch and the antennas of the subject.
All-in-all: a splendid work!

Bravo and TFS

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2007-04-21 3:47]

Hello Peter. : )
This butterfly has such an interesting and unusual shape to its wings.
Beautiful colors and markings.
I like the POV and the diagonal presentation.
TFS. : )

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2007-04-21 4:42]

Hola Peter,
bello trabajo,
magnífico pov.
agradable compo.
brillante colorido,

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2007-04-21 4:52]

Wow Peter, just as well you stopped to look at them closer. Lucky you!
I love the shape of their wings - quite different from other b'flies. Pretty colours too, and your little LUMIX did a good job on this one. Well done

  • Great 
  • Hil Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 696 W: 13 N: 1407] (5035)
  • [2007-04-21 6:21]

Hi Peter

Superb Capture of a Butterfly I have never seen before, beautifully composed shot with the classic diagonal pose and its nicely isolated from the BG, very good detail as you can see the texture of the wings perfectly, great colours and lighting too.

TFS Hilary :o)

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2007-04-21 12:29]

Hello Peter,
Es freut mich sehr, dass Du Rilke's Duineser Elegien erwähnst, die er auf Schloss Muzot,im Wallis, vollendete. Dieser farblich feine und mit wunderschöner Form bestückte Schmetterling hätte dem Poeten sicher auch gefallen.
Herzlichen Dank für Bild und Text
Liebe Grüsse

  • Great 
  • sgo Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 137 W: 32 N: 239] (718)
  • [2007-04-22 1:48]

Hi Peter,
Congratulations on your accidental encounter with this long-coveted finding of a rare beauty that you successfully and masterly have digitalized and eternalized to our enjoyment and indirectly also set as an inspirational roadsign to pursue our own further search for unexpected and rewarding finds in the poetical world of Rilke's (an unexpected find of this butterfly species up north is not to be expected)! TFS
With best regards,

  • Great 
  • Maite Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 998 W: 65 N: 1270] (5199)
  • [2007-04-22 3:43]

What a marvellous capture, Peter!! I like a lot the pose and the angle in which you captured this beautiful Libythea. Great sharpness, colors, DOF, POV, light... Everything!
Congratulations and TFS.
Best wishes

  • Great 
  • star74 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 211 W: 3 N: 598] (2474)
  • [2007-04-22 13:51]

Hi Peter,
Beautiful butterfly.
Never seen this before.
Nice clear colors,sharpness and details.
Great job

Just perfect picture! It's rather rare butterfly and you've captured it in open wings. It's really well composed picture - thanks.


Lieber Peter,
sogar den leichten Metallschimmer hast Du noch erwischt. Wunderbar gemacht.
Eine Art, die ich noch nie gesehen habe. Besten Dank für die Demonstration,
Herzlich grüsst

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2007-04-23 8:07]

Hallo Peter,
der ist klasse, Schaerfe und Farben sind einwandfrei. Ganz toll hast du diesen Schmetterling in Szenen gesetzt. Schaerfeverlauf, Bildgestaltung und die Freistellung sind super gelungen.

  • Great 
  • emmari Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 105 W: 0 N: 387] (3105)
  • [2007-04-30 11:35]

Hello Peter,
Very nice picture of this unusal species. Il like the dynamic composition and the metallic tones of the butterfly.
Best regards.

Hi Peter,
Great shot!
The form of their wings is a very particular one, specially the upper ones.
The focus on the insect is spot on, and all the details got are very clear and sharp.
I like a lot the composition made, the inclined pose of the inscet couldn't be better.
Good for you to had this opportunity to do this shot.
Congratulations and thanks for share it.
My best regards,

Hello Peter,

Here you present another beautiful butterfly unknown to me! I'm glad you eventually recognized this species. It would have been a pity to miss such a great opportunity! I'm also planing to take some butterfly photos in the Mediterranean area this summer!


You did an excellent job by intersecting the diagonals in your composition! The butterfly is looking into the empty area from the upper right corner which is correct from a compositional POV. The unusual shaped wings create a clean silhouette which I can identify easily against the blurred background! I can only imagine how perfectly this butterfly camouflages in dry leaves.


The rusty colors look natural and well saturated! The color rendition is so accurately that even the green iridescence at the base of the wings is visible.


You adjusted the contrast just to the right amount to enhance the fine details without causing the shadows to become too dark!


As usual, your technique provided great results. The exposure is excellent. The details are correctly exposed in both shadows and highlights. The strong afternoon sun didn't seem to cause you any troubles during shooting. I appreciate that you avoided your shadow to interfere with the picture which could have happened when shooting from such close distances. However, this is more a beginner's mistake which I can't expect to happen to you.


Focus was achieved with accuracy on the butterfly! The f/2.8 aperture caused a nice blur in the background which helps isolating the subject. I was able to notice a slight sharpness fall-off at the very tips of the wings. This is a minor point since I think the DOF was very well controlled. Actually I didn't expect such a nicely blurred background from a miniature pocket camera! Like I said many times before, it is the photographer the one who takes the picture, not the camera.

A very good macro photography of a species that nearly went by unnoticed. Thank you for not missing this opportunity!

With Friendly Regards,

Hello Peter!
This is really interesting picture. I have never seen Nymphalidae species with such type of wing shape (I mean the first pair of wings).
Your explanation and note about species is very informative, as always. I like also details and asymetry of this picture :)
TFS and have a nice evening!

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2007-05-15 4:21]

Hello Peter,
Excellent post.Clear details,sharpness,cross framing and composition are wonderful.

Hello Peter,
Excellent shot,great dof and POV beautiful butterfly, TFS

Thanks for your comments on my photo " Butterfly Fields Forever (32) " :o)

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