Monday, 8 July 2013

Butterfly: Marbled White (Melanargia galathea L.)

Marbled White (M. galathea) is a common butterfly species in central Europe found on meadows that are not farmed to intensively.
UV-photos of butterflies are challenging, since UV-captures normally require a tripod, manual focusing and exposure times that are too long for moving subjects. In this case I was out at sunset when this species was already sitting at the sleeping positions in the vegetation. Nevertheless, all attempts to capture an image with available light resulted in heavy motion-blur.

Photographed near Tauberbischofsheim, Germany  6 June 2013.

I have not captured or seen many UV images of butterflies, so far. 
In M. galathea the overall UV-reflexion of the wings is pretty weak and shows less contrast than in visible light. However, the blue dots are an exception in being very UV-bright, forming a strong contrast to the surrounding wing.

Images were taken with a broadband-modified Panasonic Lumix G1 and the EL-Nikkor 80mm/f5.6 at f5.6.

Visible light image with Baader UV/IR-blocking-filter, ISO 100

UV-image, Baader U-filter 2”, ISO 400, UV-flash:

Since many butterfly species can see UV light it is not unlikely that there are more species with distinct UV pattern on their wings.

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