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The Cycle Starts Again

The Cycle Starts Again
Photo Information
Copyright: Janice Dunn (Janice) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-01-17
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon EOS 30d, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM
Exposure: f/9.0, 1/640 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2009-01-16 22:51
Viewed: 3981
Points: 34
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Cycle Starts Again

I was out in the garden today and this female Monarch arrived to lay eggs on our Swan Plants (Gomphocarpus fruticosus). She flittered around and went from one plant to the other, finally settling on this plant where I managed to get about 10 shots of her depositing her eggs.

The process from egg to butterfly takes about four weeks in the summer.

The egg takes 7 to 10 days.

The larva/caterpillar and pupa/chrysalis each take about 10 to 14 days.

In winter, autumn and spring it takes a lot longer (if it happens at all - they continue to breed in some parts of the Bay of Islands, in the north of the North Island of New Zealand).

How can I tell a male from a female Monarch?
Males have a black spot on each of their hindwings. These are scent glands. They also have thinner veins (lines) than female Monarchs.

Why do male butterflies die after mating?
After mating the butterfly has done what it was created for – to continue the species. They will die 6-8 weeks after using up all its sperm mating with various females.

Similarly the female will die after she has laid all her eggs – usually between 300 and 400, although one lay over 1,000 eggs! Only a few of these will survive the process of becoming butterflies.

Quoting from a very exciting New Zealand Monarch website I was told about today:

The Monarch Butterfly New Zealand Trust

No, I did not use a tripod

Argus, rcrick, red45, eqshannon, peter_stoeckl, bikefifty, marhowie has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
Swan Plantbikefifty 2 01-17 15:55
To red45: ZZZzzzzJanice 1 01-17 02:33
To Argus: ThxJanice 1 01-16 23:08
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2009-01-16 22:59]
  • [+]

Well done Janice!
We don't often see shots of ovipositing Monarchs, even though it is a popular species on TN. The POV and sharpness are excellent and the emerging egg is clearly visible.
TFS and enjoy your weekend,

wonderful capture , fine details , beautiful contrast and amazing colours , perfect sharp and good light ,
well done !

Hi Janice,

A really great capture of this female Monarch laying her eggs. Beautiful texture and colours in the wings, the greens in the foliage really stand out against that grey background, excellent work t.f.s

Cheers Rick :)

  • Great 
  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2009-01-16 23:58]

Hello Janice, that´s a very nice capture. Excellent colours and very good sharp details. Composition and POV/DoF are great also. Very well done.

Superb janice
Pin sharp, beautiful colors, much details ...

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2009-01-17 2:18]
  • [+]

Hi Janice!

Looks like you could start your own business with exporting Monarchs' eggs to rest of the world :-) Beautifull colours, very good details. And first of all superb moment my friend!

Ciao Janisce, interesting macro, great capture of this lovely female in action, fantastic colors, splendid details and excellent sharpness, very well done, have a good week end, ciao Silvio

Dear Janice,
Good shot with brilliant colors, excellent POV, sharpness, details & informative notes. TFS.

hello Janice

beautiful full of colours
and the sharpness is ok
great shot
greeting lou

Hi Janice,

This is the picture as I see him like in color.




Quite the impressive show you have been putting on as the in turn before put on for you...what a nice opportunity and superior colours of a classic butterfly!

Hello Janice,
a very pretty, powerful capture of a beautiful moment.
I love those juicy fresh colours, and the clear composition.
Interesting facts on the species' reproduction coming with youor notes.
A pleasure to see such a cheerfully optimistic image on a cold and dark northern hemisphere winter day.
With thanks, and all my best wishes to you!

  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2009-01-17 12:48]

Hi Janice,
Excellent close up.Exposure is spot on,details are crisp clear.I liked POV,vivid colors,clarity and composition also a lot.
Thanks for posting.


Very nice shot of the Monarch. Since it is winter here all of our Monarchs have headed to Mexico. I like the focus on the head and antenna.


Hello Janice

A beautiful capture of this oviposting Monarch.
The colours are vivid and well saturated.
The neutral BG makes a terrific back drop to show off this beauty.
Nicely composed ,I like how the plant flows diagonally through the frame.


  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2009-01-18 4:54]

Hi Janice,
excellent colours and what a beauty. Well shot and presented in superbs clarity and sharpness. The hanging pose is very impressive and indeed it is a pleasant shot.


Beautiful shot Janice, the neutral BG works well here..
Very good DOF, color, POV, exposure, and details.
Great comp too :)
Have a great Sunday,

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