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Autumn Butterflies (6 imgs)
Posted By: Nightwatch, 11-05-2006, 09:52 AM

I inaugurate my first (but hopefully not last) post here, with some Autumn Butterflies. There were taken at the Grand Bay Wetlands Management Area (WMA for short), near Valdosta, Georgia during the last 2 months. All taken with the DS and Tamron 70-300mm F4-5.6 Macro and some with the assistance of the Sigma EF-500 DG Super Flash. I hope you enjoy.


Buckeye, junonia coenia



Sulfurs drinking from moist ground


Gulf Fritillary, Agraulis vanillae



Great Purple Hairstreak, Atlides halesus



Another Image of the Hairstreak. It would not open it's wings to show me the brilliant purple iridescence that it is known for.



Cloudless Sulphur, Phoebis sennae


Last edited by Nightwatch; 11-05-2006 at 01:13 PM.
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11-05-2006, 12:26 PM   #2
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Welcome Nightwatch!

I love the little sulphurs "puddling", and that's a gorgeous buckeye, but I can't see the the others. It's probably because of the url you've used - there's a link to a discussion at pbase in the thread "vanishing photos" in the Suggestions and Help section here. In short, you need to make sure to use a url without anything before pbase - yours are ct.pbase, which causes some kind of arcane computer problem that I don't understand. Right-click your thumbnail in pbase, copy the location url, and it should work. Also max 800px wide means no scrolling.

Looking forward to seeing the rest of your butterflies!

Julie
11-05-2006, 01:15 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by foxglove Quote
Welcome Nightwatch!

I love the little sulphurs "puddling", and that's a gorgeous buckeye, but I can't see the the others. It's probably because of the url you've used - there's a link to a discussion at pbase in the thread "vanishing photos" in the Suggestions and Help section here. In short, you need to make sure to use a url without anything before pbase - yours are ct.pbase, which causes some kind of arcane computer problem that I don't understand. Right-click your thumbnail in pbase, copy the location url, and it should work. Also max 800px wide means no scrolling.

Looking forward to seeing the rest of your butterflies!

Julie

Thanks for the tech tip, I think I have gotten them fixed and resized for optimal viewing. I'll have to remember that about my PBase Images.
11-05-2006, 04:19 PM   #4
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Hi Nightwatch,

I'm glad to see you come aboard. I have always taken notice to your post and pictures on DPreview and found them just awsome. These are no exception. Great shots.

Good Shooting.
Cheers: David

11-05-2006, 06:03 PM   #5
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i love the 4th shot the best. I saw that in the butterfly museum before but cannot recall the names...

All great!
11-05-2006, 06:11 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nightwatch Quote
Thanks for the tech tip, I think I have gotten them fixed and resized for optimal viewing.
Yup, they're working fine now. Very nice indeed. Other than a few hardy moths, all the lepidoptera have vanished up here now, so it's nice to see them! I've had little luck with leps - dragonflies I can photograph, but butterflies defy me. What's your secret?

Julie
11-05-2006, 06:51 PM   #7
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Love them!

Great shots!

Hopefully this doesn't qualify as a thread hi-jack, but your photo of the drinking sulfers has reminded me of a photo I took this summer:



These admirals seemed to be "feeding"??? on a dried dead bird carcass. As you seem to know a lot about butterflies, Nightwatch, can you please tell me what they might have actually been doing? Getting moisture? Drinking the blood?

11-05-2006, 08:46 PM   #8
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I read in wilkepedia, these butterflies might have been feeding on blood; some could be carnivores.

Following is the paste from the site

[edit] Characteristics of Lepidoptera
Lepidopterans undergo complete metamorphosis going through a four-stage life cycle of egg - larva / caterpillar - pupa/chrysalis -imago/adult. The larvae have a toughened (sclerotized) head capsule, chewing mouthparts, and a soft body, that may have hair-like or other projections, 3 pairs of true legs, and additional prolegs (up to 5 pairs). They can be confused with the larvae of sawflies. Lepidopteran larvae can be differentiated by the presence of crochets on the prolegs which are absent in the Symphyta (sawflies). Most caterpillars are herbivores, but a few are carnivores (some eat ants or other caterpillars) and detritivores (Dugdale, 1996).

Adults have two pairs of membranous wings covered, usually completely, by minute scales. In some species, wings are reduced or absent (often in the female but not the male). Antennae are prominent. In moths, males frequently have more feathery antennae than females, for detecting the female pheromones at a distance. Adult mouth parts, called a proboscis, are adapted for sucking nectar. Some species have reduced mouthparts (some species do not feed as adults), and others have them modified to pierce and suck blood or fruit juices (some Noctuids) (Scoble, 1992).
11-05-2006, 09:04 PM   #9
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Thanks for the great comments all, While I won't be leaving DPR any time soon, the Signal to Noise ratio there is getting a bit high, and I like a more personal forum.

Julie,

It's not much of a secret. Most of it is patience, as butterflies are not prone to sitting still for long (and neither are most of the dragonflies I try to shoot!). Many, many discarded images went into the the few keepers I have! Having access to good habitat is key as well. Here in South Georgia we have lots of farm land spotted with Cypress Swamps. This and the temperate climate makes this a very insect friendly area with butterflies tending to frequent the edges of farmland, and fields gone to the wild. I find that late in the afternoon, about 2 hours before dusk is a good time to shoot butterflies, as they are still active, but the waning temperatures has slowed them down a bit.

QuoteOriginally posted by Tom Lusk Quote
Great shots!

Hopefully this doesn't qualify as a thread hi-jack, but your photo of the drinking sulfers has reminded me of a photo I took this summer:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v176/Cancatchbass/ADMIRALS.jpg

These admirals seemed to be "feeding"??? on a dried dead bird carcass. As you seem to know a lot about butterflies, Nightwatch, can you please tell me what they might have actually been doing? Getting moisture? Drinking the blood?
That's strange. I know that sometimes that butterflies feed on the salts found in mud, like the Sulphurs may be doing in my image. I think your Admirals may be doing something similar, perhaps feeding on the salt in the birds blood.
11-06-2006, 10:22 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nightwatch Quote
It's not much of a secret. Most of it is patience, as butterflies are not prone to sitting still for long (and neither are most of the dragonflies I try to shoot!)... Having access to good habitat is key as well... I find that late in the afternoon, about 2 hours before dusk is a good time to shoot butterflies, as they are still active, but the waning temperatures has slowed them down a bit.
Much the same, then, as shooting dragonflies - know their habits! I'm fortunate enough to have a fair-sized pond in our abandoned pasture, so I've been able to spend time watching dragonflies. They often have favoured perches, and will usually stay put even if you approach them, or you can lie in wait. Butterflies seem flightier, and less prone to perch in the same place. I guess I need to put a little more effort into it!

I think you're probably right about the admirals feeding on the salt in the bird carcass. I find it particuarly funny when you see beautiful, delicate butterflies congregating to feed on.... a manure heap! Must be the minerals.

Drat, I'm all psyched to go shoot butterflies, and they're all gone for the winter!

Julie
11-06-2006, 04:31 PM   #11
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I lioke all your photo's Nightwatch, although I like the third one the best of them all.

And that's sure a nice pic as well Tom Lusk

I'm hoping that I can get some good dragonfly pic's next year. I always see them flying, but just haven't had any sit still in front of me yet
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