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Laothoe populi

Laothoe populi
Photo Information
Copyright: Dietrich Meyer (meyerd) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 585 W: 64 N: 2238] (7531)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-09-07
Categories: Insects
Camera: Konika Minolta Dynax 7D, Minolta AF 100 Macro & Kenko tube
Exposure: f/19, 1/125 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
Map: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Butterflies of Switzerland , Schmetterlinge CH 2 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2009-09-08 7:36
Viewed: 3495
Points: 26
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
For Anne, who could'nt be along yesterday for the photographic hunting expedition in the Nature reserve "Grande Cariçaie" at lake Neuchâtel (see Map:View).

The spectacular caterpillar is a Poplar hawk moth (Lepidoptera; Sphingidae; Laothoe populi (L.); Pappelschwärmer; Le Sphinx du peuplier). Since it has not been presented on TN before I will say something about "Gestaltauflösung" (body dissolution). The larva resembles the leaf and keeps still for camouflage. What's more, it has diagonal stripes and a horn that cut the caterpillar silhouette in several nonrecognizable parts (at first sight). It depends on the angle of light whether the larva stands out from the leaf or not (see workshop version).
The larvae stay on the underside of the poplar leaf that has a silvery color. Discovery was possible because the small poplar tree holding the larva was standing free.

The adult Poplar hawk moth has been presented on TN before . It is distributed from Ireland over much of Europe and the Orient to the Oural but it depends on humid zones with poplar stands.

Technique: I used the SLR with a macro and a dual flash. One flash was hand held.

cicindela, flashpoint, boreocypriensis, anel, SelenE, Argus, maurydv, rousettus, horia has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • zetu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 26 N: 3888] (16941)
  • [2009-09-08 11:48]

Hello Dietrich
Wonderful capture taken with vivid colors and great detais.

Hi Dietrich!
Interesting macro of Sphingidae caterpillar. I like structure of exosceleton in this insect. Colours are very criptique, this one must be really difficult to see in the wild :)

hello Dietrich!
fantastic macro of caterpillar Laothoe populi,with great definition and detail
impressive ability of camouflage that is seen in the WS..
thanks sERGIO

Hi Dietrich!

A classic Dietrich high quality macro, as usual. Perfectly illuminated caterpillar providing us all micro details on its skin. Amazing one once more!
TFS and cheers MF!


  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2009-09-09 9:03]

Ooooh! Mais c'est fantastique1 Tu as eu des beaux jeux pour voir ce parfait camouflage! Et quelle qualite' photographique,une nettete' super et des couleurs excellents,pas facile un travail comme ca! Mes compliments...mais quand il y a la classe....ehhehe....bonne soiree',LUCIANO

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2009-09-09 11:01]

Lieber Dieter,
War leider gestern nicht zu Hause und habe somit diese charmante Raupe fast verpasst...Herzlichen Dank für die liebe Widmung, ist doch das fast eine Zauberraupe; ihre Fähigkeit möchte ich auch haben. Beide Bilder sind gut fotografiert und schön präsentiert. Interessant natürlich auch Dein Begleittext. Het mi sehr gfreut!! Guät Nacht.

this is a wonderful Sphingidae specie, well catched ;)
very interesting informations too !!



  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2009-09-10 7:28]

Hello Dietrich,
What a lovely caterpillar. Very nice use of the flash light, good focus, sharpness and POV.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2009-09-13 5:31]

Hello Dietrich,
A superb sharp portrayal of an L. populi caterpillar, the use of flash high-lighting it well in its otherwise camouflaged pose under the poplar leaf from this excellent lateral POV. the details, especially the spiracles and feet, show up well here.
Excellent note too!
Thanks and best regards,

Hello Dietrich,
what a fantastic picture of this caterpillar taken from an sxcellent POV with outstanding sharpness and superb lighting, marvellous colours in a splendid composition, very interesting notes and links.
Best regards

Primero, gracias por tu amable comentario Dietrich. Luego felicitarte por esta interesante toma, de difícil captura por la luz y texturas de la oruga pero que resolviste bastante bien.

Pappelschwärmer en Alemán, un nombre difícil de pronunciar para los Latinos jeje
Buen trabajo.

Saludos: Josep Ignasi.

Hallo Dietrich,
what a great macro-shot of beautiful caterpillar. When I saw it on thumbnail, I think this was a post of leaves of autumn:) now, I see that this is beatiful lepidopteran larva.
you nicely capture with sharp details, POV/DOF and composition. coloration and exposure splendid.
I known only its adult and took it in last year.
thanks for sharing and thanks for adding me to your favourite, have a nice week friend.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2009-09-15 10:21]

Hi Dietrich

This is a terrific macro shot from many aspects!
First, it presents this beautiful species - one very interesting both as caterpillar and as adult.
The details are impeccable and you used your macro lens very well, retaining that great texture but also blurring the BG very well.
Second, the technique used is excellent - with the two flash light shining on the subject and giving it such a good illumination.
Third (and this is something i wouldn't like to neglect) the Workshop picture is at least just as good as this one. The natural sunlight there make wonders with the colors!
Overall, my compliments for this lovely capture!

Bravo and TFS

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