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Papilio demodocus

Papilio demodocus
Photo Information
Copyright: Pam Russell (coasties) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3749 W: 483 N: 8155] (28054)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-12-09
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon EOS 20D, Canon EF 100-400mm L IS USM, Digital RAW 200, Hoya UV 77mm
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2006-12-18 3:45
Viewed: 3776
Points: 30
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Papilio demodocus (Citrus swallowtail, Christmas butterfly, Orange dog)

The Citrus swallowtail passes through about three generations during spring, summer and autumn, and the winter period is usually spent hibernating as a pupa. One can, however, see the occasional adult during winter.

Adult: The female is larger than the male and the anterior blue spots of her hindwings (obscured here) have orange on the outer side as opposed to yellow in the male.

Eggs: The female settles on the leaf of the host plant and, while still flapping her wings, bends her abdomen downwards on to the leaf surface and lays an egg. Egg development takes about 6 days under warm conditions. The larva eats it way out of the egg and then consumes the remains of the egg shell.

Mature larva: Larvae take about a month to develop, passing through 4-5 instars and reaching a maximum size of about 45 mm.

Pupa The caterpillar spins a mat of silk on a twig or leaf of the host plant to which it attaches the tip of its abdomen. It pupates within 2 days, first spinning a girdle of silk to hold itself in a slanting position. The pupal period lasts 2-3 weeks.

Natural enemies:

• Eggs are parasitised by a small wasp Ooencyrtus.
• Pupae are parasitised by the wasp Pteromalus puparum (Hymenoptera:Pteromalidae).

When the mature larva is disturbed by, for instance, a bird, it rears up and uses blood pressure to squeeze out a forked, finger-like orange-coloured organ called an osmetrium from just behind its head. Besides the visual impact of the organ, it also has a strong smell which acts as a further discentive to the predator. The smell is evidently caused by accumulation of substances from the oil glands in the leaves of the host plant. t is thought that it is this osmetrium that gave rise to the term Orange dog for the caterpillar.

The young caterpillars are protected by camouflage, their black, yellow and white colouration making them look like bird droppings.


Camera: Canon 20D
Time of day: 10:10 a.m.
Date: 9th December 2006
Weather conditions: Inside Tropical Butterfly House
Lens: Canon 100-400mm L IS
Filter: Hoya 77mm UV
Shutter Speed: 1/80
F-Stop: F/5.6
Focal Length: 400mm
ISO: 200
Support: Hand Held
Original file type: Digital Raw

horia, pankajbajpai, star74, scottevers7, dew77, phlr, Pentaxfriend, cecilia, Ken52, jeanpaul, Tamrock has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

hi pam,
this is excellent shot,
nice pov, well composed,
lovely bg, good dof,
well saturated colours,
well done,
tfs & regards

Hi Pam,
Very beautiful butterfly,
Nice exposure and details are clear,

Hi Pam,
Excellent composition and framing on this beauty. Spot on with the colors. detail is sharp, and the DOF was controled perfectly. It looks like you have my luck with butterflies. You capture the perfect shot and the butterfly has a damaged wing. Perfect shot!

Hi Pam,
a nice close-up wiht a very nice DOF, the subject standout niely form the BG. Good details and well composed.
You still shot close-ups with your long zoom instead of your macro-lens. ;-)
Well done.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

The green winter is back ;-( +2C and grey days.

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2006-12-18 8:25]

Hello Pam,
Excellent close up.POV,colors,BG,details,sharpness are perfect as always.Have a great day!

Hello Pam,

What a beautiful diagonal composition! Swallowtails are among my favourite butterflies and it was a real pleasure to find this photo from you. As I said the composition looks great. I appreciate you didn't let the leaf leave the frame exactly through the corner. I also like the soft background you achieved using a relatively large aperture. The shallow DOF is very appropriate for this close-up. The colors look natural and make a great contrast with the black pattern on the wings and body. It seems to me that one wing of the butterfly was broken. Is it always true that beauty is fragile? In this case it seems so. However, this doesn't take away the true qualities of this picture. It still remains an excellent macro-photograph in a great "3d" frame. The informative note completes the post and the "image information" is highly appreciated by the members who want to learn. Thank you!

With Friendly Regards,

Hello Pam,
This is a wonderful capture with excellent details, POV and composition. I really like those colors, exposure and this nice green BG. Beautiful!

Hi Pam,
No doubt...good image!
Well done

  • Great 
  • volkan Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 497 W: 10 N: 4] (2425)
  • [2006-12-18 14:45]

Hi Pam,
Marvellous capture of this beautiful BF.Nice colors and BG.
Well done

Hi Pam,

Again an exellent butterfly shot
SUPERB composition, sharpness, details, colours, POV, DOF and BG

TFS Thijs

Beautiful colour, detail, good exposure and the overall comp is very appealing, well taken.

  • Great 
  • Ken52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 636 W: 93 N: 1243] (4195)
  • [2006-12-18 22:59]

Outstanding composition! Excellent details, nice background, great colors and exposure with excellent POV. The details are amazing!

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2006-12-19 3:55]

Hi Pam

A splendid post you have here with a wonderful capture of this lovely swallowtail.
The POV here is exceptional and the shallo DOF did well to contain all the attention on the subject, keep is well in focus and give it impeccable sharpness and also give you a wonderful almost monochrome BG.
The lighting is great, too and composition issimply wonderful!

Bravo and TFS

Bonjour Pam
Très belle présentation et belle prise en macro avec ce joli papillon ,les couleurs et la nettetée sont très bonnes, belle composition et beau bg.
Au revoir,félicitation et joyeuses fêtes....JP

hi pam!
what a beautiful macro!
perfect sharpness and nice dof
well composed and fine coulors

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