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Photo Information
Copyright: Sumon Sinha (Mana) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-07-04
Categories: Insects
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC-H2
Exposure: f/3.5, 1/100 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-08-18 3:25
Viewed: 4436
Points: 68
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This shot was taken inside Chandaka WLS (near Bhubaneswar) where I and Satyabrata had been and saw hundreds of Common Mormons mud-puddling in batches. From wet patches to elephant dungs they were everywhere and their congregation was a stunning sight. I captured this solitary one in a corner. Shot taken hand-held, on my belly, in cloudy conditions. Hope everyone like it.

The Common Mormon, Papilio polytes, is a common species of swallowtail butterfly widely distributed across Asia. This butterfly is known for the mimicry displayed by the numerous forms of its females which mimic inedible Red-bodied Swallowtails, such as the Common Rose and the Crimson Rose.

It is s Jet black butterfly with row of white spots along the middle part of hindwing. 90-100 mm. Very common. Not threatened.

Male : The male has one morph only. It is a dark-coloured swallow-tailed butterfly. The upper forewing has a series of white spots decreasing in size towards the apex. The upper hindwing has a complete discal band of elongated white spots. It may or may not have marginal red crescents. The males are smaller in size than the females.

The Common Mormon prefers lightly wooded country, but is present everywhere and high up into the hills. It is a regular visitor to gardens, being especially abundant in orchards of its foodplants - oranges and limes. It is most common in the monsoon and post-monsoon months.

The Common Mormon is fond of visiting flowers and its long proboscis permits it to feed from flowers having long corollar tubes. It is particularly fond of Lantana, Jatropha, Ixora and Mussaenda in city gardens. In the forests, the Common Mormon remains low keeping within ten feet off the floor and its prefer to visit Asystasia, Peristrophe and Jasminum for nectar.

The male Common Mormon is a very common visitor to gardens where he will be seen hovering over flowers when the sun is shining. It is a restless insect, zig-zagging fast and straight close to the ground, settling down only when it halts to feed.

Only the males take part in mud puddling, usually in cool shaded spots rather than in open areas. They have been known to collect on saline soils to extract minerals.

Both sexes bask in the sun on shrubs close to the ground. They hold their wings flat against the substratum. The forewing is lowered to cover part of the hindwing and is a typical stance of the Common Mormon.

The Common Mormons spend the night settled on vegetation with their wings held open, usually quite close to the ground.

Scientific classification -
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Papilionidae
Subfamily: Papilioninae
Genus: Papilio
Species: P. polytes

haraprasan, JoseMiguel, sandpiper2, flashpoint, boreocypriensis, mayuresh, eqshannon, jaycee, crs, cicindela, lousat, pankajbajpai, nirmalroberts, Argus, ramthakur, PaulH, marhowie, nellyemh, Luis52, Jamesp, anel, Amadeo, Silvio2006, Maite has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Sumon - outstanding shot for being hand-held and a relatively slow shutter speed. I could never pull that off (too much coffee in my diet!). Lovely detail, colors, composition, etc.

I dont see any reason why People will not like this one as I know this is a perfectly 10 out of 10 Shot.As usual stunning clarity, great sharpness and above all a great POV.What to talk about laying on belly and taking photographs, I know u can even stand on your head upside down to take a photograph if the situation demands.

Entertain us by posting images like this.


Hi Sumon,
Good to see you again!
This is a stunning capture of this dark coloured butterfly.
I like a lot the rich details got on its wings, as well as the patterns.
You really understands how to deal and present a high quality image of these insects.
My compliments and thanks for the post.
Best reagrds,

Ciao Sumon,
splendida cattura di questa bellissima farfalla, eccellenti POV basso e composizione con la bella posa a terra ad ali chiuse dalla straordinaria definizione, magnifici i colori e il contrasto con BG.
TFS. Maurizio

Hi Sumon

Fantastic shot of this majestic butterfly, a pity you didn't do a workshop of teh 100s puddling, that would have been interesting to see.
Brilliant sharpness and pattern detail, excellent POV and composition.


  • Great 
  • vral Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 65 W: 1 N: 218] (1049)
  • [2008-08-18 4:10]

Hi Sumon,

Very nice macro of this Mormon with details and colors. POV,Compo and DOF are nice. I could feel the black wing and abdomen for real.
Thanks for sharing

hello Sumon,
excellent captute of this beauty butterfly
from the large black eyes
perfect composition with the usual perfection of the details..compliments my friend

best sERGIO

Hi friend Sumon,
An excellent shot of this male common mormon:) with superb clarity. TFS.
Greetings from TRNC,

Hello Sumon da,
Very nice to see you again with fabulous shot of common mormons,great pov and sharpness,
very well done,

You and Joey and Pankaj...and today I see Howard as well..it is a fine day and this is a fine image to almost dedicate to the returning. Super Sumon! that is your new name!

Hello Sumon
Excellent shot of this beautiful butterfly!

  • Great 
  • batu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1079 W: 293 N: 4497] (16383)
  • [2008-08-18 9:22]

Hello Sumon,
a fine and superbly sharp picture of this gracile butterfly. Point of view and also depth
of field were well selected to achieve an appropriate presentation of the specimen.
Best wishes, Peter

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-08-18 9:42]

Hi Sumon,

I can't imagine seeing hundreds of butterflies - I am lucky if I see one a day. This Common Mormon is exquisite with deep rich colors and perfect details. Even the legs are razor sharp. The wing markings are beautiful. Great shot while he was mud puddling.


  • Great 
  • crs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 469 W: 0 N: 922] (3551)
  • [2008-08-18 10:50]

Hello Sumon,

What a great shot! I am deeply impressed by the quality of the image. You rendered extremly well the details of this butterfly starting with the thin legs and ending with the texture of the wings. Despite the darck color of the wings you bought to the viewer all the details of wing's surface giving depth to the image.

Thank you for sharing,

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-08-18 13:10]

Hi Summon. I would have like to have seen you flat out on your belly to get this low POV. well worth it. You have captured a good close up with fine detail and colours. It has some nice markings which stand out from the brown colour of the BG. well done TFS. interesting notes too.

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2008-08-18 16:05]

Hi Sumon,nothing to say,the pic talk alone,just my best compliments fot this perfection!!!Have a nice day,Luciano

hello sumon,
nice capture of the butterfly sipping water from the mud, i liked the lower pov here which offers good view, generally we dont get good bg whicle shooting the mud puddling butterflies but lower pov saved you here, the image is sharp with good details, you have managed the exposure well, the details on the darkest part of the wings too are clearly visible with good details, The prosumer camera offers good dof at 3.5. the total insect is in sharp focus, if i opt for 3.5 with any lens on dslr i never get complete body in focus and generally opt of smaller aperture. At shutter speed of 100 you got good results, it shows that youve got sterdy hands.
well done once again,
keep shooting,
tfs & regards

Hi Sumon Da,
A nice capture of this beautiful common Mormon mud puddling. Very well composed with sharp details and a very good POV. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Hi Sumon!
Very nice and beautiful species. I like sharpness and details of this image.
All the best and TFS.
Friendly yours,

Hi Sumon,

Super sharp and in focus with a great DOF. Very well exposed, showing up all the detail on the wing. Well done!


Hi Sumon,
Crisp and sharp image of this beautiful butterfly. Very nice POV.
Thanks for sharing.
- Nirmal

A superb image of this animal. Good colours and sharpness.
Best wishes,

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-08-19 7:06]

Hello Sumon,
Great to see you back in action on TN!
Superb sharp closed-wing capture of the Common Mormon taken from a fine low POV while mud-puddling. The long legs and proboscis show up well here.
TFS this beauty,
Best wishes, Ivan

Welcome back, Sumon!
I wish you all the best at the beginning of a new phase on TN.
This is a brilliant capture of a male Mormon mud puddling. The POV here is quite innovative and beautiful on that account.
I too shot this butterfly for the first time in Goa during my recent visit there.
Thanks for sharing this beauty and keep them coming!

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2008-08-19 7:45]

Hi Sumon,
exceptional shot once again, perfect DOF and a very good low POV. Sharp focus and detail are both very impressive, well done!

Very nice image Sumon, good to see you posting again..
I see you still know how to get down on your stomach for that great shot :}
Well done,

Preciosa Sumon, con unas extremidades captadas delicadamente . Las alas también están bien enfocadas a pesar de la dificultad que tienen por ese color. Bien captado el ojo. Un bello conjunto.
Saludos: J. Ignasi

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2008-08-19 16:55]

Hola Sr. Sumon.- Nice to see You again, It is always a great pleasure to see Your work. Great image of this black butterfly, very sharp and good light. The pose is nice too. Saludos Sumon.

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-08-19 22:47]

Hi Sumon

Great shot - lovely detail and pose plus lovely saturation too.

Hope you are well.


  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2008-08-19 23:41]

Hello Sumon,
Very impressive butterfly this dark coloured Swallowtail! And very interesting note to read. It must have been great to see all these big butterflies flying around, may be you made a picture of them.
Thanks for this very natural shot

Hola Sumon, otro excelente macro, buena definición y buen detalle con la dificultad que tiene sacarlo en los tonos negros, tecnicamente perfecto.
Un saludo

Ciao Sumon, elegant butterfly with superb details and splendid sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • Maite Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 998 W: 65 N: 1270] (5199)
  • [2008-10-22 13:09]

Just perfect in all senses! Really gorgeous and altogether beautiful!!
Congratulations, my friend, and thank you very much for so many marvells.
Best regards

Hello Sumon, beautiful picture. Wonderful sharpness and contrast. Great sharp focus!

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