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Owl Butterfly

Owl Butterfly
Photo Information
Copyright: NICHOLAS GLEN (nglen) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-10-20
Categories: Insects
Camera: Konica-Minolta Dynax 5D, Tamron SP 90mm 1:2.8 macro
Exposure: f/2.8, 1/125 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Alex99's favorite photos [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-10-31 12:22
Viewed: 4091
Points: 58
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Taken at The London Butterfly House.

Owl Butterfly ( Caligo beltrao )

Owl butterflies are named this because of the large eyespots or ocelli on the undersides of the hind wings. When the butterfly lands and folds its wings over its back these eyespots are prominent and serve the purpose of a threat to would be predators.

Species within the plant families Heliconiacae (heliconias) and Musaceae (banana) provide the specific host plants on which Owl butterflies will deposit eggs and larval growth will occur. As the eggs develop, they take on a dark appearance and will hatch at about day twelve. The early larval stages are greenish with dull stripes running the length of their flattened bodies. The larger instars, or larval stages, are brown with a forked tail, spiny head capsule and fleshy projections along the back that can be seen clearly. With these spines and projections the larvae appear menacing, resembling the dragons seen in Chinese New Year parades. However, just like the eyespots on the adults, this apparent threat is all a bluff as the larvae are harmless. Feeding occurs at night and by day the larvae line up along the midrib of the leaf and are quite cryptic.

Owl butterflies are placed in the family Nymphalidae, the "brush footed butterflies". Nymphalids hold the first pair of legs folded close to the body and use only the second and third pair of legs for walking. Species in the genus Caligo include some of the largest neotropical butterflies occurring from Mexico through South America.

wallhalla15, joey, cecilia, uleko, Silvio2006, mirceax, eqshannon, jrobertop, jaycee, gracious, undoredo, Argus, Royaldevon, kjpweb, angybone, Alex99, fartash, horia, Silke, tiklod has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To joey: Owl butterflynglen 1 10-31 13:24
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Nicolas,
this is an excellent shot about a Owl butterfly with eggs. Great POV, excellent sharpness, exposure and very nice colours. This is a great compositon. Thank you for posting.

Hello Nick
Splendid Butterfly... very goods details
Nice... really
Thank you

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2007-10-31 13:19]
  • [+]

This is a special shot of this striking butterfly.
The sharpness is outstanding!
+++ Great detail especially in the wing. The clarity is also excellent.
Great composition and a good side-on POV.
The DOF is superb keeping the whole butterfly in-focus but blurring the BG very well.
The BG is contrasts very well to the bright butterfly causing the subject to stand out significantly.
Perfect lighting aswell. Amazing colours!
Good notes.
--- Nothing :D
Thankyou for your critique on my latest photo :)
Very well done Nick,

P.S. are they eggs on the top of the perch?

Excellent side view shot - well focus, with lovely colour and detail.
Well photograph...

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-10-31 13:50]

Hello Nick,
WHat a splendid capture of this Owl! Very sharp details of the beautiful wing pattern and fine colours. I like its pose too and the composition is excellent. I wonder who lay the five eggs up the top of the straw?! Well done!
TFS and regards, Ulla

Hi Nick, elegant butterfly with splendid details, great colors and excellent sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

Bufff !! que fotografía más bonita. Has conseguido un perfecto enfoque en todo el plano. Has sabido plasmar muy bien la belleza de esta maravillosa mariposa y captar sus elegantes detalles como son los ojos y par de manchas tan espectaculares. Buena composición e iluminación. Excelente trabajo y de alta calidad técnica y estética.

Un abrazo: J. Ignasi

Hello Nick,
Great capture of this beautiful butterfly. Excellent sharpness and colours, great composition.


I said to one other on this same butterfly species.. the pattern on the wings if caught in the right light..as it is here, makes it appear as a third dimension. In that pattern wise it is a special type of butterfly. Nice composition with proper perch and all well done!!

Hi Nicholas.
Splendid shot! Wonderful butterfly!
Excellent definition, pretty composition.
Impressive the wealth of details.
Well done!
Best regards,
José Roberto

Hi Nicholas,

the details of this image are really great! Nice macro.



  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2007-10-31 15:29]

Hello Nicholas, great macro of this Owl butterfly, the sharpness is just incredible and the exposure is 10/10 with that great dark background. The eggs is a plus too. Well done my friend !


  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2007-10-31 15:43]

Hi Nick,

A superb shot of this Owl Butterfly. Wonderful pose showing off the fantastic wing markings. Colors and details are both excellent. The lighting is magnificent.


  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-10-31 19:57]

Hello Nick,
As I have my own rule in not sending images of animals in captivity, I don't usually give critiques on such photos, so now you know!
But having said that I think this is a great capture of an owl butterfly with high technical quality and such sharpness and detail that the eggs are clearly visible on the stem that it is on.
Nice composition too, as well as informative notes.
TFS and best wishes, Ivan

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2007-10-31 23:19]

Hi Nick

Great composition with razor-sharp detail. I really like the inclusion of the eggs on the stem.


Hello Nick,
Beautifully captured of this Owl butterfly!
The sharpness is awesome on this shot with the wonderful colour, just perfect!
well done, Nick!

Hello Nick,

It is so obvious why it is called an owl butterfly! Superb capture of its colours and details!
I like the way you have shown it clinging on to the stem. Is that its tongue or its front leg which appears near its head?

Kind regards,
Bev :-)

A "WOW" shot. Excellent Macro with intricate detail! Great light and composition! Bravo! Cheers, Klaus

I really like this vertical composition. Great details here - wonderful colors and nice bg.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2007-11-01 8:05]

Hi Nicholas.
Outstanding picture at every respect. My congratulations. Only I cannot understand how you have got so large DOF using f-number 2.8. The butterfly is amazing as well as the whole pictured scene. Quality of the shot is terrific. Bravo and TFS.

Hello Nick
Excellent shot of this Owl Butterfly,
Perfect focusing,use of flash and BG,
Superb shot,Welldone.

Good Luck

Hello Nick,
You've taken very close-up shot of this cute owl butterfly, with excellent details and sharpness.
Very nice DOF and POV, well composed and presented!!
Well done and TFS,
Best wishes, Kevin

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2007-11-01 12:45]

Hello Nick,
Beautiful photo of one of the most photographed Butterflies, I think. Very sharp with perfect details. Very beautiful light and DOF. Great composition.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-11-01 13:26]

Hi Nick

This is a splendid shot of this elegant and very beautiful butterfly species with a lovely little bonus - some nice shiny eggs on the plant.
We've seen this beauty before but i never reacll seeing its eggs and i think that they are the key to this gret picture.
That aside, the details here are very clear and sharp, teh colors and patterns on its wings are magnificent and the shallow DOF that you used is exceptional, too.

Bravo and TFS

Hi Nick,

Another great macro shot, and a very effective composition with the butterfly and eggs captured perfectly. It tells the story on its own, which is the mark of a great natural history picture.

Kind regards,


  • Great 
  • Silke Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 729 W: 98 N: 1707] (5458)
  • [2007-11-01 15:43]

You have been holding this one back like a true star of stage and screen -- made us hold our breath and then POW! right between the eyes

FAbulous colours and details -- a stunner, Nick -- an absolute stunner


Hi Nick,
Did this butterfly was looking at you with this BIG EYE :-)
Excellent details, beautiful colours... WONDREFULLY DONE... AS USUAL :-)


Bonjour Nicholas
C'est un superbe prise, excellente gestion de l'exposition, couleurs et netteté, bravo
Amicalement Robi

  • Great 
  • nimou Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 148 W: 1 N: 687] (3171)
  • [2007-11-10 13:32]

Very nice composition. Very good sharpness and lighting is excellent.
Gorgeous and vibrant colours.
PD: really good details on eggs.

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