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Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes) F

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes) F
Photo Information
Copyright: Derek Grant (PeakXV) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 121 W: 0 N: 544] (3135)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2012-08-10
Categories: Insects
Camera: Nikon D 60, AF-S Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 G VR DX
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/1000 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2012-08-10 11:58
Viewed: 2278
Points: 20
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The wings of this swallowtail are black with a row of submarginal yellow spots. There is also a row of yellow crescent-shaped spots on the margins of the hindwing. The female differs from the male in having the submarginal band of spots small or non-existent and in having the blue submarginal band of the hindwing larger; females, with their black and blue pattern, appear to mimic the Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor). The Black Swallowtail has distinct orange eye-spots with black-centred pupils on the hindwings close to the tails. Wingspan: 52 to 94 mm.

The Black Swallowtail is at home in most areas of the eastern U.S. and ranges all the way to South America with several named subspecies. It reaches into Canada in three areas. In the west it can be found in southern Manitoba (one record from Saskatchewan), and in northwestern Ontario around Lake of the Woods, with three isolated records from the north shore of Lake Superior. It is common in southern Ontario and southern Quebec. The third area is the Maritimes, with records from all provinces except Newfoundland, from which no authenticated specimens are known, although it has mistakenly been reported in the literature.

There are two broods annually. In most parts of its Canadian range, the first-generation adults emerge from the overwintering pupae in mid- to late May and fly until late June. The next brood emerges in mid-July and flies throughout August.

This handsome swallowtail is often found in and around gardens because of its larval foodplants and its fondness for flowers as an adult. In wilder areas it is usually seen near damp meadows and can be found occasionally sipping at wet sand.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Papilionidae
Tribe: Papilionini
Genus: Papilio
Species: P. polyxenes


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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Zeno Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 483 W: 0 N: 1345] (10867)
  • [2012-08-10 12:01]

Hi Derek,

Very impressive capture. Great pov and wonderful light and sharpness in this shot. Well done.


Hi Derek,

Nice composition. I liked the contrast of both color and size of the butterfly to the Asteraceae sp. its perched on.

  • Great 
  • cloud Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 497 W: 111 N: 1535] (9539)
  • [2012-08-10 12:29]

Hello Derek,
You chose very attractive POV, perfectly showed pattern on wings against blue sky.
Regards, Pawel

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2012-08-10 12:47]

Hello Derek,
Excellent macro in great sharpness and beautiful colours. Lovely detailed markings in the wings. Beautiful blue sky in the background too.

great pollination capture, TFS Ori

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2012-08-10 13:24]

Woow Derek,i would to meet me too one day this fantastic beauty! What a spectacular butterfly and what a magnificent pic,your point of view is magnificent,like the quality of details and colors,a great gift to the butterflies fans like me.Have a nice weekend and thanks,Luciano.

Hi Derek,

What a nice composition; POV, focus, bokeh, color. You indicate in your vitae that you do not post process. I wonder why are you getting such extensive "halos" along the margins of your subject? This seems symptomatic of over sharpening. Perhaps also, too much saturation, especially noticable in the orange and white spots. An otherwise gorgeous image. TFS


Hi Derek,
very good photo of this butterfly. Many details. AMazing colours.
Have a nice weekend,

Nicely done!!! I see this same butterfly here in North Carolina. I've found it difficult to capture the dark butterfly without over exposing the flower. You've done a great job of balancing color here.

  • Great 
  • iti Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 577 W: 0 N: 650] (7939)
  • [2012-08-13 8:55]

Hi Derek,
Very nice colours,excellent detail and perfectly sharp photo.
Regards Jiri.

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