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Drinking elephants pee

Drinking elephants pee
Photo Information
Copyright: Chris Chafer (sandpiper2) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1906 W: 107 N: 4875] (16757)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-04-05
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon Powershot S2-IS, Canon 12x zoom 36-432mm equivalent
Exposure: f/4, 1/160 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Butterflies of Thailand, My trips to Thailand, Malaysia & Singapore [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-04-18 7:12
Viewed: 6811
Points: 24
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I recently spent ten absolutely fantastic days holidaying on Phuket Island, Thailand and the adjacent mainland province of Phang Nga.
Whilst it was more of a family-type holiday rather than a photographic holiday, there were many instances where I was able to grab a few shots, especially of the abundant and diverse butterfly fauna. Over the next few weeks Iíll post a selection from my trip.

This is a Common Bluebottle(Graphium sarpedon), a species of swallowtail butterfly found in South and Southeast Asia, as well as parts of Australia (where it is known as the (Blue Triangle). There are approximately 15 subspecies with differing geographical distributions with wingspans between 55 and 75 mm.

(Graphium sarpedon) is primarily an inhabitant of moist, low-level rain forests (below 1600 m/5000 feet). In these elevations it is usually seen flying just above the tree canopy. The larvae of the common bluebottle feed on trees of the laurel family, which includes the cinnamon tree, and have expanded their range to include cinnamon tree plantations. In eastern Australia, they have adapted to a drier subtropical environment, and are commonly seen in suburban gardens in Queensland and New South Wales.

The males are known for their habit of feeding by the edges of puddles, often at the roadside. Occasionally, as many as eight will be seen at the same puddle. They have also been known to be attracted to animal droppings, carcasses and rotting insects. It is believed that this behaviour allows the butterfly to extract essential salts from the animals urine and faeces. And yes, this one is drinking from an elephant pee puddle.

The common bluebottle is distributed throughout south and southeast Asia. Subspecies appear in India and Sri Lanka (G. s. sarpedon and teredon), China and Taiwan (G. s. semifasciatus and connectens), Japan (G. s. nipponum), Indonesia and the Solomon Islands, New Guinea (G. s. messogis), and Australia (G. s. choredon). In India it occurs in Southern India in the Western Ghats and in the Himalayas from Kashmir eastwards to Myanmar.

This one was taken during an elephant trek at Khao Sok National Park.

elefantino, peter_stoeckl, phlr, fiyo, coasties, thistle, goutham_ramesh, Christopher_PL has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

A great macro, with good colors and details.
Well done, Chris!!


Hi Chris,

Well done on the capture and composition.


Hi Chris, Excellent Photo, Perfect colors BG, POV, DOF, Excellent work, TFS Kyle

Hi Chris,
pretty capture of the quick moving Graphium, with an interesting note.
Colours and details are very good, and so is the composition. Thank you!
Best regards,

  • Great 
  • osse Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 955 W: 0 N: 89] (7805)
  • [2006-04-18 14:26]

Hi Chris
A great close-up shot.Good details and color.
Well done


  • Great 
  • wuta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 855 W: 2 N: 617] (2142)
  • [2006-04-18 14:34]

Hello Cris , A Very great macro , beautifull colours compositie sharpnes details pov and the bg , very good ,Greetings Teunie .

  • Great 
  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2006-04-19 2:35]

Excellent macro Chris,
Very good lighting, sharp and detailed image, very nice colours. TFS

Hi Chris

An great shot that is well composed, with good clarity and sharpness. Detail is spot on. A big tick for this shot! :-)

  • Great 
  • phlr Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1237 W: 130 N: 882] (2821)
  • [2006-04-19 3:46]

Very beautiful butterfly!
Beautiful black and green colours!
Very good POV!

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2006-04-19 10:14]

Very good Macro Chris, butterflies are hard to get in the wild. Very sharp, well composed. Good work.


Hi Chris,
Good to hear you had such a nice journey. This is quite interesting picture to start with ;-) I won't maybe say anything about the BG, but the butterfly is very beautiful and whole picture is nicely framed.


WOW , you must have smelt that dung for next 2 days :-)(Joking). But get such a beautiful shot , you need bare that :-) ( which i do sometimes !!)
Great story telling picture and an excellent composition with directional space

Goutham R

Excellent shot of this wonderfull butterfly!
Very good colours and composition.

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