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Mystery covered with dew

Mystery covered with dew
Photo Information
Copyright: Monika MvJ (thistle) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1309 W: 74 N: 3014] (9282)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-08
Categories: Insects
Camera: Nikon Coolpix 4200, Nikkor ED 38-114 F/2.8-4.8
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2005-08-16 3:25
Viewed: 4003
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 70
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I've never thought I can find this fellow somewhere near my house, but it happened.

This is a caterpillar of Papilio machaon - well known Swallowtail, but what is really surprising I've never seen an adult butterfly in my region. I asked some people and they say the same - noone ever saw it. This may mean that the adult Swallowtail came here for the first time - I don't really think that such beautiful and distinctive b'fly could have been missed for years.

This is, no doubt, the first time I found the caterpillar - it is really hard to miss it.

First of all it's a big (up to 5 cm), fat fellow painted with the most vivid colours (green with black and orange spots) that feed on high plants from Apiaceae family during the day - I would say this is the most visible caterpillar you can imagine ;)

It seems that it don't want to be camouflaged and wants to be well seen. Of course this must mean that the caterpillar isn't tasty and all predators need to know that.

If you come a bit too close the caterpillar has one more surprise for you: a scent horns.
These are structures hidden just behind the caterpillars head, but they can be quickly everted when the owner is threatened. They are usually yellow or orange and always have a strong acidic smell. Their purpose is to convise the attackers entirely that they found something totally inedible.
If you want to see the horns look at my WS.

And now a bit about the name:
In English speaking countries the butterfly is called Swallowtail, but I think this time the Polish name is much more interesting. I would say this is the most beautiful name of any Polish b'fly.
So, Papilio machaon is called Paz Krolowej what can be translated as Queen's Page - I am not entirely sure about the 'page' word, but this suppose to mean 'a small boy living on the middle-aged court, who accompany the queen and help her during ceremonies etc.' The name probably comes from the beautiful wings of b'fly that could resemble the beautiful outfit of the boy.


The photo have been taken just after sunrise. The caterpillar still covered with dew was feeding already.
Maybe the photo may seem to be framed to tight, but I wanted to show the caterpillar as close as possible.

manyee, chiliu, elroyie, red45, AndyB, dew77, marhowie, wallhalla15, sandpiper2, ridfa, Comandante, ddg, luvsdogs3, Markus, liquidsunshine, PDP, NINIX, TAZ, JeanMichel, phlr, deud, Tommysugar, rimas, nardophoto, irimi has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2005-08-16 3:32]

Wow, Monica. Stunning macro. How exciting for you to find this beautiful creature in your own backyard. Now you can look forward to seeing the adult butterfly. The colors are so vivid, the details so crisp. I love the drops of water all over him. Congratulations on a masterpiece, and TFS. : )

Hi Monica,
Excellent macro!
Very good colour and sharpness.

Nice shot of this great looking caterpillar Monika! Excellent sharpness and perfect exposure. It looks like you've made an important discovery with this one. TFS!

Świetne zdjęcie.
Szczególnie podobają mi się krople na całym ciele.

Great colours and beautifull caterpillar, the water drops on it adds a lot to the beautiful picture.

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2005-08-16 3:54]

Wow, Monika! Not a spider, but one of your best pictures for sure! Excellent details, colours, sharpness. Droplets of dew looks extraordinary. Composition isn't too tight for me and note as always great! I saw Paz Krolowej only once in my life - in Romania ;-) never in our country.

  • Great 
  • AndyB Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1366 W: 32 N: 1351] (3982)
  • [2005-08-16 4:11]

A very nice capture Monika,
Lovely vivid colours,nice detail and I love those water drops.
Excellent work,well done.


  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2005-08-16 4:17]

Hello Monika!
Perfect close up.Clear details,sharpness,colors,POV and composition are excellent.TFS...:-)

Hey Monika,

Wonderful shot. You've really used the light very well. DOF is very good. Well done

This is GREAT.
The details, the focus, the colours, the drops...the picture is 7*.

You have here a espectacular macro.


Excellent work Monika! Very sharp and clear with excellent light, colors, DOF and a nicely blurred BG. The "wet" look adds greatly, Very well done.

Monika, excellent details & sharpness, perfect composition and great colours. Fantastic work! Well done.

Hi Monika,
A beautiful capture and well done on the composition. The colors are great. The dew drops adds to this shot. Excellent work.


Wonderful shot. the dew drops add an extra dimension to the composition, which very good. Vivid colours, sharp exposure and great background. Well done.

  • Great 
  • ridfa Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 89 W: 0 N: 376] (4111)
  • [2005-08-16 8:32]

Magnifique macro, pleine de détails et de précisions. Les couleurs sont particulièrement belles et la profondeur de champ dosée au millimètre près. Du beau travail.

Bravo auteur.

Hello Monika!
Wonderful makro.Waterdrops,lighting,colors,sharpness,3D effect and composition are perfect.Thanks for sharing.

  • Great 
  • ddg Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 867 W: 24 N: 1008] (5507)
  • [2005-08-16 10:46]

Bonjour Monica, félicitation pour cette belle chenille pleine de rosée.Sharpness and colors are perfect. Very well done, Didier.

  • Great 
  • carper Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1973 W: 119 N: 2582] (8439)
  • [2005-08-16 10:48]

wauw Monika,
I love it, fantastic macro great shot, good composition, fantastic colours, good pov and a fantastic dof, very good job, I like it very much,
gr, Jaap

  • Great 
  • naki Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 382 W: 27 N: 5] (40)
  • [2005-08-16 13:49]

This is beautiful Monica. I loved the rain drops on the caterpillar. Very good composition with vivid colours and a very good DoF, keeping the caterpillar in the field but leaving the BG. out.
Very well done.

Stunning, Monika! It is so crisp in the detail both on the caterpillar and the dew drops. The colors are wonderful and the OOF BG adds to the feel of the photo. The like the close crop since it keeps the eye on the important elements. Beautifully done! :-) Thanks for sharing a bit of your backyard!

  • Great 
  • Graal Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Silver Note Writer [C: 751 W: 31 N: 20] (5100)
  • [2005-08-16 15:28]

Witaj Moni,
¶wietna robota. Piêkne kolory, ostro¶æ i jeszcze te kropelki - super.
Pozdr. Al.

Excellent capture Monika,
Good detail and great POV. DOF and BG are perfect.
Nicely exposed. Well composed. good framing, good colours & notes. Well captured, thanks for posting.

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2005-08-16 17:02]

Hi Monika, this is a very beautiful shot. Not the easiest of subjects but I think you made a great job of this. The water droplets are superb. Great work.

  • Great 
  • sway Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 305 W: 85 N: 319] (1276)
  • [2005-08-17 0:56]

HI Monika,
I love the colours and the drops of water really top off the shot.
Nice composition.
WEll found I hope you start getting these butterflies near your house soon.

  • Great 
  • NINIX Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 158 W: 47 N: 355] (3001)
  • [2005-08-17 14:30]

Hello Monika,
I don't believe my eyes. Incredable.
WHAT A GOOD PICTURE. Most of the time you see butterflies. I didn't know this catterpiller was looking like this.

Very good work.


  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2005-08-19 4:03]

I like very much this caterpillar with its droplets. Composition, colors, light, details and sharpness are very good ! Thanks for sharing Monika.

You show here that caterpillars are great subjects, Monika, because you show it in unexpected conditions with these drops. The coming sunlight in the drops adds another dimension to your subject too. Beautiful colors, very good close-up framing. Very well done!

  • Great 
  • phlr Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1237 W: 130 N: 882] (2821)
  • [2005-08-25 14:05]

Wonderful photo of a caterpillar of Papilio machaon!
Such a perfect shot!
Everything is PERFECT!
Above scale photo!

  • Great 
  • deud Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 438 W: 11 N: 534] (2540)
  • [2005-08-31 3:28]

wow! wow! wow! one wow for the drops, one for insect and one for the focus on subject. bravo

  • Great 
  • OzBY Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 183 W: 2 N: 351] (1355)
  • [2005-09-28 6:56]

Great macro shot of this Swallowtail caterpillar.

Excellent shot of this caterpillar, the picture is very crisp and the colors are dynamic with a nice soft background. Paul :)

Really a beautiful photo! The colours are really fantastic, and the effect of the water on its skin is superb!

  • Great 
  • rimas Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 157 W: 3 N: 667] (5094)
  • [2005-11-17 13:03]

Great macro Monika. The caterpillar with dew looks extraortinary. DOF,blurred BG,POV and composition are perfect.
Thanks for sharing

Simply amazing. The focus is extremely sharp and the water droplets have come out very well.

  • Great 
  • Dave Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 503 W: 43 N: 657] (2178)
  • [2005-12-08 7:02]

Absolutely amazing Monika!
What an incredibly beautiful picture of a caterpillar!!
Thank you for sharing,

ps Have a great day!

  • Great 
  • irimi Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 34 W: 2 N: 49] (266)
  • [2007-04-05 7:42]

Hello Monika,
What a beautiful photo with vivid colors. Loved the sharpness and the composition. Great lighting and DoF. Well done.

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