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Zebra Heliconian

Zebra Heliconian
Photo Information
Copyright: Alain Thibodeau (Athila) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 335 W: 239 N: 493] (1982)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 1983
Categories: Insects
Camera: Nikon F3, Vivitar Serie One 90mm f/2.5 macro, Ektachrome
Exposure: f/2.5
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2005-11-16 21:35
Viewed: 7636
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 28
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Bahamian Butterfly

I took that picture while I was a Club Med Scuba Diving G.O. in Eleuthera Bahamas.

I have no idea of what kind of butterfly it is, and I didn’t find it on the web either, so if anybody can help.

I took that picture handheld and no flash on Ektachrome Pro 64. Sorry for limited DOF. I had to sharpen it in PP since it was a little bit soft.

Thank you Manyee for identifying:

Zebra Heliconian (Heliconius charithonius [Linnaeus])

Wing span: 2 3/4 - 4 inches (7 - 10.1 cm).

Identification: Wings long and narrow; black with narrow yellow stripes.

Life history: Males patrol for females, and are also attracted to female chrysalids. A male will wait on the chrysalis and mate with the female as she is about to emerge. He then deposits on her abdomen a chemical than repels other males. Eggs are laid in groups of 5-15 on leaf buds or leaves of the host plant; caterpillars feed at night on leaves. Adults roost communally in groups of 25-30 individuals.

Flight: All year in South Texas and southern Florida, wanders north during warmer months.

Caterpillar hosts: Passion-vines including Passiflora suberosa, P. lutea, and P. affinis.

Adult food: Flower nectar and pollen, which are gathered on a set foraging route or "trap-line". Favorite plants include lantana and shepherd's needle.

Habitat: Tropical hammocks, moist forests, edges, fields.

Range: South America north through Central America, West Indies, and Mexico to South Texas and peninsular Florida. Occasional immigrant north to New Mexico, Nebraska, and South Carolina.

Conservation: Not usually required, but habitat for permanent populations is limited in South Texas.

The Nature Conservancy Global Rank: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.

Management needs: Maintain habitat and host plant colonies.

Source: http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/distr/lepid/bflyusa/ga/64.htm
Technical data:

Camera : Nikon F3
Lens : 90mm f/2.5 Serie 1 Vivitar macro lens
F/stop : Not recorded (almost wide open)
Shutter speed : NA
Tripod: Handheld
Filter: None
Flash : None
Film : Ektachrome Pro 64
Flatbed Scanner: Epson 4180

gerhardt, hummingbird24, pompey, coasties, Luc, firelord has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To liquidsunshine: Greg ???Athila 1 11-17 09:14
To glazzaro: Thanks for the comment.Athila 1 11-17 00:01
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Critiques [Translate]

Well done, good detail and colors, though you might want to consider dropping down the saturation just a hair.


  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2005-11-17 1:48]

Bonjour Alain,
I think it is a Heliconius charitonius (Zebra Longwing).
The colors are very vibrant. Well done and TFS. : )

Hi Alain,
I've more time now, and I can get your name correct!!!.
Great shot, good colours, POV and composition. DOF is a touch shallow IMO, but still this shot is well worth a big green Smiley.
Thanks for posting.

Lovely colors and the frame suits the subject very well. I would like to see more DOF but for F2.5 this is more than enough. Well done.

Hello Alain,

This is lovely, well composed and nicely presented.

DOF seems a little short, but the illusion is still there ... :-)

Thank you for sharing it with us.

Great colours Alain


  • Great 
  • pompey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 144 W: 4 N: 746] (2774)
  • [2005-11-19 18:42]

Beautiful shot Alain, sharp, colourful and well composed.
Thanks for sharing.

Hi Alain.
This is a beauty. The DOF is a bit shallow but with F2.5 its ok, instead the subjekt stands out nicely from the BG,
I love my new 85 1,8 and shoot with big apertures, everything really pops up from the BG.
Nice colours and good composition.
Very well done.

  • Great 
  • nofer Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1190 W: 366 N: 811] (2307)
  • [2005-11-28 20:50]

Tenho a oportunidade de ver uma excelente foto. Ótima macro. Uma boa composição (POV).
Mais que tive a oportunidade de completar seus pontos para o Workshop. A partir de agora terá um quadrado DOURADO em seu nick!! Parabéns e obrigado (TKS)

Lovely image, the DOF is overall pretty good except for the right wing. Nice colors and POV.


Hi Alain

Good colours, exposure and detail. Excellent POV and sharpness. Very well composed. Nice work. TFS.

  • Great 
  • Luc Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 301 N: 4287] (14767)
  • [2005-12-18 22:40]

Personal assessment of the photo: very good.
Capacity of evocation in me: strong.
Very strong visual impact.
Personal assessment of the note: complete.
Thank you very much Alain.
Sorry, I have no time to write a good comment.

  • carnota Gold Star Critiquer [C: 51 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2006-01-17 3:18]

I like so much!
colours and composition gear up for a very fine result.
this one is the best for me

  • Great 
  • RII Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 481 W: 0 N: 895] (2862)
  • [2006-01-26 14:02]

Hi Athila.
very nice photo, the butterfly is wonderful, great colors contrast and composition, good details.

  • Great 
  • Luce Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 80 W: 0 N: 15] (58)
  • [2006-04-06 9:31]

Bonjour, superbe papillon. La composition en diagonale est excellente et le papillon se découpe bien sur le fond avec la faible profondeur de champs. Le contraste des couleurs contribue aussi beaucoup à la mise en évidence du sujet. Bravo pour cette belle image.

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