<< Previous Next >>

African Monarch

African Monarch
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: 2007-11-03
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mark III, Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS USM, Digital RAW 640, Hoya UV 77mm
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-11-06 1:26
Viewed: 5038
Points: 20
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Danaus chrysippus

Common Name: African Monarch, Plain Tiger

Large and conspicuous, the plain tiger butterfly is a member of the monarch butterfly family and is common across Arabia. Unpalatable to predators owing to the toxic diet of its caterpillars, it is faithfully mimicked by an unrelated butterfly, the diadem. It readily drinks nectar, especially from natural desert flowers, but opportunistically also takes in salts from damp soils.

Widespread: Adult plain tiger butterflies are on the wing in Arabia for about half the year, from September to June. In the extremely hot summers, they exist primarily as pupae, ready to hatch when the weather begins to cool. They are very common in the winter months - the plain tiger pictures featured in this article were all taken in Dhahran in Eastern Saudi

Arabia over several years, between November and May. The butterfly is widespread in the old world tropics and subtropics, ranging from Australasia and China to Arabia and Africa.

Striking patterns signal danger: The plain tiger butterfly is a rich, honey brown colour, with jet black tips on the forewings broken by a prominent white bar. This vivid pattern, coupled with its slow flight, would seem to present an easy target for birds. In fact, its bright colours are a strong warning, and the leisurely flight is designed to ensure that birds notice the colours. Experiments have revealed that captive birds quickly learn to avoid eating plain tigers and apparently transmit this knowledge to other birds. Though a few plain tiger butterflies do get killed, their sacrifice protects the rest of their family - since the birds will never touch another plain tiger.

Nectar and other nutrients: As with most butterflies, the plain tiger is strongly attracted to flower nectar. Other nutrients may also include minerals and salts obtained from damp patches of earth. I have photographed plain tigers in Dhahran drinking from damp sand after heavy rain. At Dhi Ain, a beautiful old oasis in the mountains below Baha in Western Saudi Arabia, I also observed plain tigers drinking from the wet sides of irrigation channels.

The above obtained from http://pr.sv.net/aw/2006/MAR2006/english/pages012.htm


Camera: Canon 1D Mk lll
Time of day: 11:11 a.m.
Date: 3rd November 2007
Weather conditions: Inside Tropical Butterfly House
Lens: Canon 70-200mm F/2.8L IS USM
Filter: Hoya 77mm UV
Shutter Speed: 1/400
F-Stop: F/5.6
Focal Length: 200mm
ISO: 640
Support: Hand Held
Original file type: Digital Raw

dejo, fartash, LordPotty, uleko, wallhalla15, Tamrock, Kathleen, marhowie, Alan_Kolnik has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • dejo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 344 W: 51 N: 520] (2242)
  • [2007-11-06 1:45]

Hello Pam,
Beautiful shot of one beautiful butterfly!
great colors and nice POV
Regards Dejan

Hello Pam
Excellent shot of this Monrach,
Perfect details,composition and BG,Welldone.


Nicely composed shot of this Monarch Pam.
Good colour and nice sharp detail.
Well done.

Hello Pam,
This is a lovely composition. At first I thought the Monarch was taking shelter from the rain under the leaf, but I think the "droplets" are eggs?? Anyway, the butterfly is very sharply in focus, details sharp and colours lovely. A fine soft green background too.
TFS and regards, Ulla

  • Great 
  • radz Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 598 W: 11 N: 72] (436)
  • [2007-11-06 3:40]

Its beauty!!
Lovely composition &details are awesome.

Hello Pam,
this year I saw no African Monarch. :-( But your picture ist great. Wonderful colours, lighting and very good POV. Great sharpness and details. This is a very good composition. Thank you.

hi pam!
A really sharp macro with
fine exposure and nice pov!
well done!

Hi Pam.
Beautifully sharp with wonderful colour, DOF, and detail. Lovely composition with him hanging in the bottom left, grabs all the attention, and then the leaf diagonal.
Wonderful image


Hello Pam,
Very beautiful and wonderful shot of this African Monarch, with superb details and nice composition.
Lovely colours and outstanding focusing as well!
Well presented and TFS,
Best wishes,

Perfect exposure and color sat Pam.
Excellent DOF and sharp details, and I enjoy the composition as well..
I'm still hanging around :)

Wonderfully sharp image - having tried unsuccessfully for this type of shot in a hothouse in Montreal, I must say you've done superbly to get such a clean image - these guys don't seem to stay still for long.

Calibration Check