<< Previous Next >>


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: 2007-06-17
Categories: Insects
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC-H5
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): My Purple Obsession 1 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-02-10 5:56
Viewed: 4265
Points: 54
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note

Having been absent from this site for many days due to an excessive workload at my job, I am lucky to be back again. Feeling very happy about the positive feedbacks I received from many of you on my latest postings, I am feeling gratefully obliged to sit down to return these favours in the next few days to come.

Now this is on Ilia, the Emperor's "brother", another one of the three species of flashy Emperor butterflies that may be seen in Europe.

Apatura ilia (Denis & Schiffermüller 1775).

Lesser Purple Emperor,
Kleiner Schillerfalter,
Liten Skimmerfjäril,
Le Petit Mars,
Tornada chica,

Family: Nymphalidae
Subfamily: Apaturinae

Wing span: 65 - 70 mm.

First described from the river forests near Vienna by Ignaz Schiffermüller in 1775, Apatura ilia, the Lesser Purple Emperor, is similar in appearance and behaviour to Apatura iris (Linnaeus 1758).

Males of both species are claiming and defending a territory of their own. They hardly ever suck nectar from flowers, but use to take water and minerals from wet spots on the ground, and they are attracted by all kinds of decaying substances.

Orange bordered eye spots on the upper sides of forewings are the best indicator to tell Apatura ilia at a first glance from the Purple Emperor. Quite frequently, in the woods near Vienna a variation can be seen with white bands turning ochre:

Apatura ilia "clythie”,

a variation that as far as I know has never been reported from A. iris.

The nominal form of Apatura ilia with clearly white bands is shown here.

Apatura ilia can be met from southern Europe through the temperate zones of central Asia to Japan. The species does not go up as high up into the mountains or as far north as Apatura iris. Ilia is quite common but local in southern central and eastern Europe, and very local in Portugal and Spain. It is not reported from the UK, Denmark, the Netherlands, northern Germany, the Baltic States, Scandinavia. But it can be seen in southern France and in Italy, where Iris is missing.

To the south of its distribution, two generations can be observed: May / June, and August / September. North of the Alps, there is usually only one generation in June / July. In the unusually warm year of 2007, I could observe at least one male individual of the second generation by mid August near the Danube at Vienna.

Ilia caterpillars feed on Populus tremulae L. and Populus nigra L.

Tom Tolman, Richard Lewington: Die Tagfalter Europas und Nordwestafrikas, Stuttgart 1998.
C.Jonko: Butterflies and Moths of Europe: http://www.lepidoptera.pl/

The camera:
SONY DSC-H5, 3072 x 2304 pixel, sRGB, 72mm tele macro zoom (equivalent 436mm at full size SLR), F/8, 1/250 sec., ISO-125, hand held, no flash. 17.06.2007, 14:17.

Thank you for looking. Have a very good day.

>>> another view?

Hope you enjoy.

ramthakur, marhowie, vanderschelden, mariki, Alex99, crs, jmp, XOTAELE, fartash, meyerd, JoseMiguel, dejo, uleko, pilonm, phlr, Argus, Jamesp, hester has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To claudine: ... private butterflies’ breeding :)peter_stoeckl 1 03-15 12:49
To Alex99: "What about were you talking?"peter_stoeckl 1 02-16 14:54
To uleko: ... back!peter_stoeckl 1 02-12 13:52
To pilonm: ... the tongue shadowpeter_stoeckl 1 02-12 13:48
To Tobias__Ortmann: ... mit ausgedehnten flügelnpeter_stoeckl 1 02-12 13:37
To meyerd: ... Badener Kur.peter_stoeckl 1 02-11 12:49
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

I am delighted to see this gem of a picture from your archives, Peter.
The dual glimpse of its magnificently coloured wings is a treat for the eye.
Thanks for sharing this picture and best regards.

  • Great 
  • batu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1079 W: 293 N: 4497] (16383)
  • [2008-02-10 6:30]

Hallo Peter,
trotz halbgeschlossener Flügel kommen die charakteristischen Ffügelzeichnungen wunderbar heraus,
insbesondere auch der Blauschiller. Das helle Licht und den Lichteinfall hast du professionell gemeistert.
Selbst im Schatten ist noch Licht.
Augen, Füßchen und Rüssel sind scharf zu sehen.
Einen schönen Sonntag noch,

Hello Peter,
Excellent images. The different point of view made these images very complimentary.
Well done

Hi, dear Peter.
I looked forward your new picture and now I am very glad to watch it. Amazing POV and eye-contact between you and charming butterfly. What about were you talking? -:)))

I am impressed with terrific details and sharpness of the butterfly and entire image. All beautiful parts of the insect are reproduced perfectly. Tongue, legs, eyes, every hair, wings. Colours and texture of the wings are amazing too. Even ground is looked perfectly. Bravo, my dear friend. Wonderful peace of sunlight and beauty in the winter season. My best regards and congratulations.

  • Great 
  • crs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 469 W: 0 N: 922] (3551)
  • [2008-02-10 9:56]

Hi Peter,

Great looking photo. I like very the place you did the photo. The colors of the butterfly are well corelated with the colors of earth spot you capured the image. Very good DOF having clear details from the yellow tips of antenas till butterfly feets and ground.

Thank you for sharing,

  • Great 
  • rdfoto Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 372 W: 0 N: 719] (3295)
  • [2008-02-10 10:16]

Bonjour Peter
Très belle prise, excellente netteté, couleurs et cadrage, excellente gestion de l'exposition.
Félicitations, amicalement Robi

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2008-02-10 10:25]

Hi Peter,
Pefect colours reproduction under the full sunlight. Also a good to see both sides of the wings.
TFS and best regards,
José M.
PS. I hope you can cope with the overwork!

Hola Peter,
precioso trabajo con unos tonos muy delicados.
Excelente captura y nota.
Saludos, Jl.

Ciao Peter,
un'altra immagine "solare" si aggiunge alla tua preziosa raccolta.
Quello che più mi piace nelle tue immagini è proprio la loro luminosità.
Sembrano scattate qui da me in Sicilia, piuttosto che in Austria... :)
Bellissima la spiritromba gialla!
Ciao e grazie per il tuo commento al mio 100th post,

Hello Peter
I love the shape of shadow here ;O)
Perfect focusing,DOF and POV,Welldone my friend.


  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2008-02-10 14:55]

Hola Peter,
preciosos colores,
interesante macro,
original pov,
saludos amigo.

Hi Peter,
Glad to see you here again!
So good the way you caught and show us the glowing blue tones on that wing.
Great sharpness and clear details on the legs and head.
My compliments and thanks for share it.
Best regards,

Hello my friend Peter,
really nice to see your beautiful posting once again!
awesome shot to me with such sharpness, beautiful colouration and so much details to view and enjoy!
great displyed of light and shadows of butterfly
many thanks for sharing
best regards always

Lieber Peter,

da wir grad bei Deinem Schillerfalter sind... Danke für Deine Antwort, die Tipps mit dem Photographieren in 2 m Höhe und und den Hinweis auf Hermann Hesse. Tatsächlich, schliesslich weilte Hesse ja von 1923 bis 1952 jedes Jahr zur Kur in meiner Heimatstadt Baden/ Schweiz und schrieb ein Bändchen darüber: "Kurgast. Aufzeichnungen von einer Badener Kur". Vielleicht hatten unsere Lehrer davon Wind bekommen und einiges von ihm im "Schul-Lesebuch" gedruckt. Ich werde nachsehen. Nachtrag: Bingo, gefunden, "Der Schillerfalter" von Hermann Hesse!

Auf diesem Bild ist mir der Falter vertrauter, am Boden nach Mineralstoffen saugend. Ein schönes Bild!

herzlich grüsst Dich

Hello Peter,

Very nice presentation of this butterfly. Good POV and DOF. This butterfly is very similar to the iris. Very nice light and wonderful colours.

  • Great 
  • dejo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 344 W: 51 N: 520] (2242)
  • [2008-02-11 10:34]

Hello Peter,
Beautiful pic! I like the pose and nice natural colors, great POV,
best regards,

Hello Peter,

Another great picture from you with an unusual pov which works very well with me :-)

I like this pov for letting us see inward and outward wings, the complete tongue, and the eyes so well focused...

I like also the shadow but I'm surprised to not see the tongue shadow not completly closed...

Good work with a great light!



Hi peter
was für schöne Farben dieser schöne schmetterling hat so einen hab ich ja nohc nie gesehen
sieht super aus leider sieht man ihn nicht mit ausgedehnten flüger aber trozdem ein super Bild
tfs Toba

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-02-13 0:52]
  • [+]

Hello Peter,
What a lovely capture of the Lesser Emperor with a beautiful shine and colour to its wing and focus on the big eyes and the rolled-up proboscis. Excellent sharp details and well composed too. The workshop image is delightful too! Nice to see you back!
TFS and best wishes, Ulla
P later

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-02-16 5:39]

Hello Peter,
To photograph these spectacular Emperors is an achievment, but to capture A. ilia showing both the upper and under surfaces from the same POV is fantastic, especially if the technical standard is as high as shown in this image. This is a joy to see and thanks for sharing it!
Best wishes, Ivan

BTW thanks for your kind comments on my M. arion. If only we nature lovers could rule the world!

Hi Peter,
Sometimes I suspect you to have your private butterflies’ breeding :)! This is such stunning specie to me. Its blue color is amazing and I like this other POV that you present us. You caught excellent details in good composition and I like this shadow! Thanks for this other superb perspective in WS.

Exelente não da nem para comentar,é espetacular conseguir uma foto com desta qualidade com esta maquina precisa ter muita paciencia e técnica parabens.

Hola Peter, un buen control de la potente luz existente y un ángulo interesante en el disparo que consigue mostrar las dos partes de las alas.

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-02-25 22:39]

Hi Peter

Very good POV with wonderful detail, rich colour and well handled exposure.



bonjour peter
même si le POV n'est pas ideal,ce papillon est vraiment joli surtout lorsque l'on a la chace de le voir au soleil comme sur l'aile gauche.
bonne netteté.

  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2008-02-28 12:52]

Hi Peter

I love that flash of the irridescent blue. Great POV and wonderful sharp details



  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2008-03-20 6:13]

Hallo Peter,
ein wirklich huebscher Falter. Die Perspektive gefaellt mir sehr, vor allem der lange Schatten sieht prima aus.
Natuerlich auch der lila arbklecks inmitten der erdtoenen. KLasse Aufnahme, super scharf.

Calibration Check