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Clouded Apollo.

Clouded Apollo.
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: 2008-05-18
Categories: Insects
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC-H5
Exposure: f/4, 1/250 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2008-05-31 8:01
Viewed: 5011
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 50
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Clouded Apollo.

Slowly flying, enjoying extended rests on flowers, the archaic looking Clouded Apollo with its semitransparent wings and furry body is a willing target for photographers who are lucky enough to find them.

Being well acquainted with that species that can be locally abundand at some mountain meadows in the Vienna Woods, I would not have expected to see it on an isolated hill with xerothermic vegetation in the Eastern lowlands of Austria, overlooking the Hungarian plains. That species of weakly flying butterflies may live there in a very restricted area in splendid isolation from both the Alps and the Carpathian mountains since the times of ice age.

Here, a male individual is sucking nectar from sweet smelling Erysimum odoratum on a wide arid meadow at the edge of the dense peak forests of oak, beech and lime trees, at an elevation of 400m.

Parnassius mnemosyne (Linnaeus, 1758)
Family: Papilionidae
Subfamily: Parnassiinae

Wingspan 50 - 60 mm

Clouded Apollo, Schwarzer Apollo, Zwarte apollovlinder, Mnemosynefjäril, Pikkuapollo, Juodasis apolonas, Niepylak mnemozyna, Jasoň chochlačkový, Jasoň dymnivkový, Semi-Apollon, Blanca de Asso.

Widely distributed over Europe and the Mideast, eastwards to Siberia, the species is confined to small scattered colonies to be found in the Pyrenees, Massif Central, the Alpine mountains, the Apennines, the Balkan, Southern Germany, Bohemia, Moravia, Slovakia, Southern Poland, Scandinavia.

Considered to be a rare and endangered species, the Clouded Apollo may be met in May and June in the hilly parts of the Austrian Alps at elevations between 500m and 1500m. With its caterpillars feeding on Corydalis that is growing in the shadow of humid deciduous forests, and the butterfly depending on open meadows rich with flowers, the species depends on the close neighbourhood of both habitats.


Tom Tolman, Richard Lewington: Die Tagfalter Europas und Nordwestafrikas, Stuttgart 1998.

C.Jonko: Butterflies and Moths of Europe: www.lepidoptera.pl

The camera:
SONY DSC-H5, 3072 x 2304 pixel, sRGB, 17mm macro-zoom setting (equiv. 100mm at conventional 35mm SLR), F/4, 1/250 sec., ISO-125, -0.3 bias; no tripod, no flash; 18.05.2008, 13:58.

Photoshop Elements, slightly cropped, downsized to the web, selectively resharpened, levels slightly adjusted.

> Wings closed.

Thank you for looking.
Have a very good day.

uleko, flashpoint, anel, Argus, vanderschelden, mesquens, nglen, phlr, eqshannon, gracious, marhowie, mariki, rdfoto, meyerd, loot, fartash, Maite, Alex99, jusninasirun, maurydv has marked this note useful
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To jusninasirun: ... thank you!peter_stoeckl 2 08-01 08:52
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Critiques [Translate]

Hola Peter, una toma con un encuadre acertado, buena nitidez, luz y color. Un saludo

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-05-31 8:52]

Hello Peter,
As you may already know this butterfly is very rare here and only occurs in a few places, one of which we hope to visit tomorrow! You've managed to get a wonderful capture of this beautiful Clouded Apollo that looks very fresh! It looks really lovely on the yellow flower and against the dark green background. Details are very sharp and the composition is excellent.
Many thanks and have a nice weekend! Ulla

  • Great 
  • batu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1079 W: 293 N: 4497] (16383)
  • [2008-05-31 9:00]

Hallo Peter,
die Pergamentartigkeit der Flügel kommt gut zum Asudruck - man hört es leicht knistern.
Ein 1A-Bild des schwarzen Apollos.
In Österreich habe ich die Art am Mittagskogel in den Karawanken kennengelernt, das war 1975.
Schöne Grüße, Peter

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2008-05-31 9:10]

Hola Peter,
hermoso trabajo amigo,
bella composición y color.
estupendo foco y fabulosos detalles,

hi Peter,
great Pov and fine details of this
very beautiful Papilionidae

best regards sERGIO

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-05-31 10:18]

Hello Peter,
Great capture of a male Clouded Apollo with fine sharpness and contrast with the yellow flower BG and set in a pleasing composition.
We hope to photograph this species during the next few days at a locality about 100 km from us. This is an inspiration!
Thanks and best regards,

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2008-05-31 10:21]

Guten Abend Peter,
Einen seltenen Gast zeigst Du uns hier. Ich habe in letztes Jahr zum ersten Mal gesehen .
Farblich sehr reizvolles Bild und sehr ausgewogene Darstellung. Ein Eye-catcher!
Interessant auch den Schmetterling mit geschlossenen Flügel im Workshop-Foto zu sehen.
Hab herzlichen Dank und liebe Grüsse nach Wien

Hi Peter, splendid butterfly, I never see before, thanks, with great details and excellent sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

Well done, Peter.
Definitely a Peter Stoeckl butterfly. Big in size, strong compo and a lot of details.
Well done as always...
Nicely done workshop photo as well.

Beautiful post. Rich detail, very sharp, nice colors. Excellent POV. Very good also the WS.
Interesting and informative Note.

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-05-31 13:19]

Hi Peter. A good close upo f this butterfly. good detail and natural colours with a nice POV/DOF. well done TFS.

Simple, sharp, to the point and well colored as well composed with superb notes...Very nicely thought out Peter...Thanks much for sharing your work. It is stand out!

Hello Peter,
First class quality with this rare butterfly!
the colour and the pattern is so special which well captured by you!
The image is real sharp as always with natural colour and details
a good macro work!
well done

Hi Peter,
Another beautiful species you bring to TN, I like the diagonal presentation/comp.
Very good exposure, DOF, detail, and colors..Those yellow flowers really make it snappy :)
Also like those transparent wings tips I see.
Well done & TFS!

Días ya sin visitar tu galería Peter, aunque veo que sigues en forma y publicando interesantes mariposas como en este caso.
Un abrazo y que tengas un buen Domingo:
Josep Ignasi Tejedor.

Hello Peter,

Superb capture of this butterfly. Very nice composition. Excellent exposure. Very good sharpness and colours. The transparency of the wings are amazing and very well reproduced.

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2008-06-01 22:55]

Gorgeous shot, Peter.
The Clouded Apollo looks so ephemeral and dainty.
The strong yellows and greens form a perfect BG.
Wonderful pose showing the beautiful symmetry.
Excellent focus and exposure.
TFS. : )

  • Great 
  • rdfoto Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 372 W: 0 N: 719] (3295)
  • [2008-06-02 12:12]

Bonjour Peter
Excellente Macro (comme d'habitude) très belle netteté, couleurs et très beau sujet bien commenté.
Amicalement Robi

  • Great 
  • meyerd Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 585 W: 64 N: 2238] (7531)
  • [2008-06-02 12:27]

Hallo Peter,
wieder ein Wunderwerk von Dir. Ich habe noch nie einen schwarzen Apollo gesehen, ich glaubte den gäbe in der Schweiz nur im Kanton Schaffhausen, aber die gibt es auch in den Bergen. Das ist ja ein zartes Wesen. So schön festgehalten. Herzlichen Dank für die neue Überraschung.
Mit besten Grüssen

  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2008-06-03 20:49]
  • [2]

Hi Peter

I had a bit of an ordeal at the dentist today so forgive me if I might be a bit abrupt.

Another contribution of marvellous macro work. The level of detail is remarkable. With your high standards it's probably to be expected as a given minimum, but it never makes it less appreciated or enjoyed. The semi see-through wings are clearly displayed; the exposure levels are balanced with great contrasts permitting the explicit visibility of the surface textures on the wings. The careful placing of the subject and its host flower in relation to the composition and the cropping was tastefully and considerately executed.

Very well done MF and TFS.

Dear Peter
Very intersting shot of this wonderful Clouded Apollo :O)
Perfect details,exposure and composition.
Superb shot my friend.


  • Great 
  • Maite Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 998 W: 65 N: 1270] (5199)
  • [2008-06-05 7:39]

Hello Peter
Fantastic capture of a beautiful Parnassius! An impeccable picture with great sharpness and excellent lighting.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-06-13 10:18]

Hi, dear Peter.
What a splendid specimen you have captured. I have never met this species. You have reflected its features, unusual wings and colouration perfectly. At whole scene is amazing. Yellow flowers and dark BG underline the beauty of the butterfly. Well done and my kind regards.
P.S. I will comment your last wonderful shot step by step.

Hello Peter. Irresistible image and just have to go into my favorite list. Beautiful framing and stunning colors on that yellow flowers. Meticulous work and thanks for sharing. Have a nice day. Jusni

Ciao Peter,
your butterflies are all wonderful;
a very beautiful macro of this Parnassius mnemosyne taken from an excellent POV with superb sharpness in a nice diagonal composition; i love the contrast of the vivid colours against a dark BG.
TFS. Greetings from Italy.

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