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A friendly Machaon

A friendly Machaon
Photo Information
Copyright: Luciano Gollini (lousat) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2012-04-17
Categories: Insects
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC HX1
Exposure: f/3.5, 1/250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2012-09-01 15:50
Viewed: 2198
Points: 42
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Class: Insecta

Order: Lepidoptera

Superfamily: Papilionoidea

Family: Papilionidae

Subfamily: Papilioninae

Tribe: Papilionini

Genus: Papilio

Species: P. machaon

The Old World Swallowtail (Papilio machaon), is a butterfly of the family Papilionidae. The butterfly is also known as the Common Yellow Swallowtail or, simply, The Swallowtail (a common name applied to all members of the family). It is the type species of the genus Papilio and occurs throughout the Palearctic region in Europe and Asia; it also occurs across North America, and thus is not restricted to the Old World, despite the common name.This striking butterfly is yellow with black wing and vein markings and a wingspan of 8 to 10 cm. The hind wings of both sexes have a pair of protruding tails which give the butterfly its common name. Just below each tail is a red eye spot.This butterfly is present throughout the entire Palearctic region through Russia to China and Japan (including the Himalayas and Taiwan) and across into Alaska, Canada, and the United States. In Asia it is reported as far south as Saudi Arabia, Oman and the high mountains of Yemen.
In Southern Asia it occurs in Pakistan and Kashmir, Northern India (Sikkim, to Assam and Arunachal Pradesh) Nepal, Bhutan and northern Myanmar.
This butterfly is widespread in Europe but in the United Kingdom it is limited to a few areas in the Norfolk Broads of East Anglia. It is the UK's largest resident butterfly. The Monarch Danaus plexippus is slightly larger but is only a rare vagrant.There are 37 subspecies.
Papilio machaon gorganus is strongly migratory in Europe and can be found in almost all habitats.
In the UK, P. m. brittanicus is an endemic subspecies, but occasionally individuals of the continental subspecies gorganus breed temporarily on the south coast. Subspecies brittanicus differs from the continental subspecies in being more heavily marked in black.
The Maltese Islands are home to another endemic subspecies, P. m. melitensis. There are usually two to three broods in a year, but in northern areas the species may be single-brooded. In some places like the UK some will pupate and emerge in the same year and others will overwinter as pupae before emerging the following year, a situation known as being partially double brooded.The caterpillar spends the first part of its life with the appearance of a bird dropping, an effective defence against predators. As the caterpillar grows larger it becomes green with black and orange markings. The caterpillar still has a defence against predators in the form of an organ called an osmeterium which consists of retractable, fleshy projections behind its head that can release a foul smell.


Il Macaone (Papilio machaon Linnaeus, 1758) è una farfalla della famiglia delle Papilionidae, famiglia prevalentemente tropicale, di cui solo 9 specie presenti in Italia.
Con i suoi quasi 8 centimetri di apertura alare massima, non è difficile incontrarla e notarla soprattutto nelle campagne o in collina dall'inizio della primavera (periodo in cui le crisalidi sfarfallano), fino ad autunno inoltrato.
I bruchi, verdi con anelli neri punteggiati di giallo, si nutrono di Apiaceae, come ad esempio il finocchio e la carota. Se disturbati, estroflettono da dietro la testa un paio di ghiandole a forma di corno (osmaterium), che emettono un odore repellente che tiene lontani i predatori.
Elegante ed agile nel volo, il maschio è anche difensore del proprio territorio; se vi capitasse di vederne due che volteggiano vicini in audaci acrobazie, probabilmente uno sta cercando di cacciare l'altro.
Anche il Macaone presenta il tipico comportamento da Butterfly Hilltopping, ovvero cerca di volare sopra il punto più alto del terreno in cui si trova (dominio).

ramthakur, cloud, cobra112, marius-secan, Hussain58, tuslaw, baddori has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To tuslaw: ...lousat 1 09-04 04:02
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Critiques [Translate]

Your nails need paring, Luciano, ha, ha, ha!!
The other day, I got a Moth on my thumb and today you have a Swallowtail on your finger.
Your right hand handling the camera, you have made no mistakes. It is a nice picture composed of your hand and the butterfly.


such a beautiful butterfly, Luciano. and so friendly, indeed! lucky you :)
excellent shot as always. oh, i had always loved the tailed butterflies...
have a nice day

Ciao Luciano, a questa gli hai dato una dose doppia di camomilla, di solito sono isteriche come poche, l'ultima che ho scattato frullava leali a velocità pazzesca, gran bella macro, mica facile scattare così bene con una mano sola, ottimi dettagli, splendida mnitidezza e magnifici colori, bravissimo, buona Domenica, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • cloud Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 497 W: 111 N: 1535] (9539)
  • [2012-09-02 1:40]

Hello Luciano,
It's uncommon event and you managed to show very well, perfect exposition.
Regards, Pawel

Spettacolare! Tutto spettacolare...tranne la mano...ah ah!!


Hello Luciano,
Interesting and excellent capture with very nice details and exceptional clarity.

Hello Luciano,
An excellent capture with fine colors, sharpness & details. Well done & presented with a great POV. Great moment for this very friendly butterfly to be on your finger! Nice work & TFS. Regards & best wishes!


  • Great 
  • iti Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 577 W: 0 N: 650] (7939)
  • [2012-09-02 6:12]

Hi Luciano,
Beautiful butterfly and very lovely moment.
Nice colours with excellent details.
Regards Jiri.

hello Luciano

HONEY on your finger??ha,ha
great shot to see this
They are not easy to make picture of this butterfly and you have it on your fingers
Great shot
thanks greeting lou

Hello Luciano,
Brilliant capture of a very nice, species of butterfly living also in my country. Very nice colors, good details and sharpness. The light is superb falling on the butterfly from a wonderful angle. The focus and WB is at the highest quality range.
Thanks for sharing!

  • Great 
  • ana974 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 477 W: 48 N: 968] (4857)
  • [2012-09-02 11:43]

A photographer always in love with butterflies...you deserve that!!!
Yes Luciano!!!! Butterflies love you!!!
Great shot,great butterfly! So so well done!Bravo!TFS
Nice week!

PS: thanks for your lovely comment in my last pic.I appreciated it!

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2012-09-02 11:46]

Hello Luciano.
superb butterfly with wonderful details, excellent sharpness, very good light and colors, great focus, very well done.Best regards Sggi

Ciao Luciano
...son sempre in attesa di sapere come fai ;-)
scatto ben riuscito con una buona messa a fuoco e gestione dei colori.
Bravo e buona settimana

Hi Luciano
Very nice and interesting photo
Very good clarity,colors and exposure
All the best

Hello Luciano, dear brother,
You are a guru like Silvio here. I am back after quite a break and am glad to see you all regulars posting like before, a great blessing for this site.
This is a wonderful shot of this beautiful butterfly and now you have started taming these wild creatures, envy is eating my heart away, I am going green. I'll find a way to know yours and silvio's tricks soon....smile.
Thanks a lot for sharing another wonderful photo with a standard which is a must here.....thanks for sharing....take care....warmest regards/Abid

hello Luciano,
the picture of intimacy with nature. perfect sharpness and colour.
best wishes,

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2012-09-03 19:51]
  • [+]

Hello Luciano,
You must be the Pied Piper of the butterfly world:) I have a hard enough time getting one to sit still and here you have them eating out of your hand, while posing for a shot. What am I doing wrong;)?
Seriously though....this is an excelent shot of a beautiful Old World Swallowtail. Detail, color and exposure couldn't be any finer. Great work!!

Hi Luciano,
Amazing picture!! Best regards

Splendida e "domestica"..
Mi unisco a Silvio per la camomilla.
Nelle mie elucubrazioni avevo pensato ad un leggero anestetico spray.
Ma li controlli Forestale EMPA ed ambientalisti.
Sono attratto e felicemente meravigliato.

  • Great 
  • girni Silver Note Writer [C: 7 W: 0 N: 13] (193)
  • [2012-09-15 12:11]

quel bonheur ! ce machaon sur votre main et la prise de vue au bon moment !
belle réussite

that shows the love! great photo my friend!
regards Nasos

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