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Tropical Butterflies

Updated on August 19, 2014

Flying Flowers

We are very lucky because we have a local butterfly exhibit that lasts from October through April. For this exhibit, they bring in tropical butterflies from all over the world, and they let them live in the tropical greenhouse. This is located in the Tucson Botanical Gardens. I try to go once a month for the entire season, to take pictures. I also have a few pictures from other butterfly exhibits. The advantage of such butterfly exhibits isn't just so that people can see them. Many of these organizations are also involved in butterfly conservation. There are butterfly exhibits in many parts of the world. My husband saw a fantastic one in Malaysia years ago.

One of the most incredible things to me about butterflies and moths is their four life stages, particularly during the pupa stage. They say that during this stage, the body of the larva completely dissolves and re-forms. How that is possible boggles my mind. But obviously, their adult form is always radically different from their larval form!

The butterfly on the left is an Owlet, Opsiphanes sp. It is native to Central and South America.

(Photo credits Pat Goltz)

Blue Morpho

Morpho peleides

From Central and South America.

This was pretty much my favorite tropical butterfly before I got to know many others. They are difficult to photograph with their wings open, because they like to close them when they are resting. The ones that are old and damaged don't mind posing for you, but the perfect ones require a lot of time and patience, until one gets cooperative. These butterflies are pretty on both sides.

The upper wings ("up") are actually black. But the microscopic structure on the surface of the wings refracts light. The blue color comes from light refractions. A lot of butterflies have this characteristic.

So do some birds, particularly male hummingbirds, but some other birds do, too.

Some butterflies don't sip nectar from flowers. They may prefer rotten fruit or other food. The Morpho is one such butterfly. You won't find one on a flower. But then, they are flying flowers, so you don't really need a flower for them. ;)

A lot of butterflies co-rotate. This is when two butterflies (or sometimes three) will fly in circles around each other. I THINK it's mating behavior, but I'm not sure. Blue Morphos do it. Blue Morphos are quite active, actually.

This next picture is a White Morpho, Morpho polyphemus. I see them much less often.

Red Cracker

Hamadryas amphinome. Central America.

This is another butterfly that refracts blue light. The dark blue in the pattern would be black without it. It is called a Red Cracker because the underwings ("un") have red in them. Obviously, in this photo, this color cannot be seen.

The reason I was able to bring out the refracted color is because I used the fill flash. I showed the photo to one of the volunteers and she was surprised, because she had never seen this before.

Here's the underside, where the red can be clearly seen.

Tailed Jay

Graphium agamemnon. India and Australia.

The Australians often have a different name for the various butterflies, from the rest of us. They call this one a Green-spotted Triangle.

Tailed Jays grow from egg to adult in only a month, so they may produce seven or eight broods a year. They are very active flyers. They particularly like the nectar from Lantana, Ixora, Mussaenda, and Poinsettia. They mostly lived in the treetops of dense forests, but have been found in urban areas more recently.

This is another butterfly that doesn't like to sit with its wings open. This particular butterfly was very cooperative, and spent quite awhile on the ground first, before flying to this rock. I was actually photographing down on him from above. Butterflies will sit on the ground because they take drinks of mineral-rich water from little wet spots and puddles on the ground. This is called "puddling."

We are told to watch where we step, because at any given moment, there may be a butterfly on the path, puddling.

Julia

Dryas iulia. This is almost a local butterfly. They live in Mexico, and I have seen them a couple of times in Arizona. It has been found occasionally as far north as Nebraska.

This butterfly likes Lantana and Scandix. It also likes the tears of caymans, so it has the ability to irritate their eyes to get these alligator-like creatures to produce tears. Caterpillars like passionflowers. Both the color and the taste are not attractive to birds.

As you can see, this butterfly likes flowers.

There are a number of species of butterflies that live in the Americas that have long wings that extend outwards like this. They are called "Longwings". Most of them belong to the genus "Heliconius".

Zebra Longwing

Heliconius charithonius. Another near native. They are found mainly in central and South America.

The caterpillars of this species also like passionflowers. The adults eat both nectar and pollen. It is uncommon for butterflies to like pollen. Zebras often like to sleep in clusters of up to 70 butterflies.

The flower is Lantana (Lantana horrida). I don't know all the flowers, but when I do, I will tell you.

Tips on Photographing Butterflies

Using an SLR

Some folks take butterfly pictures with little point and shoot cameras. I don't know how good these are. My sole experience is with the Pentax cameras I have owned. I currently have a K20D digital SLR. For butterfly photography, I have a Tamron 1:1 90mm macro lens. I bought that some years ago, and it was expensive. You can use other setups, but they might not give as good results, either. The Tamron is strictly a hand focus lens.

In the past, before I could afford this lens, I reverse-mounted my 55mm lens with four closeup filters ganged in with it. You have to have a reverse mount to do this. The depth of field isn't quite as good, but you can still take nice pictures with it. Later, I will show you some of the pictures I took that way.

There are a couple of secrets to taking good butterfly pictures in an exhibit. The first thing to remember is that most butterflies that live in an exhibit get used to people and you can approach them closer than you can in the wild. In some exhibits, they will let you use fill flash. This makes a HUGE difference. Fill flash is when you cause your flash to light up with minimum strength. This is a setting in the camera. When you get really close, you don't want a lot of flash, because it will wash out all the colors. The flash doesn't seem to bother the butterflies, although I did see one jump once. When you can use fill flash, stop down your lens all the way. Mine goes to f22. I also use a shutter speed of 180, which is what the flash is designed for. I usually have to slow down my ISO considerably as well.

To get good focus on the butterfly, it is best if you can get the entire butterfly at an angle in which the plane will be parallel to your sensor.

With this setup, you can get clear pictures of the butterfly and a nice bokeh in the background. Take as many pictures as you reasonably can (your camera will have to recharge the flash, which will space the pictures) then choose the best. This is the secret to good photographs in any situation.

Sapho Longwing

Heliconius sapho. They are from, you guessed it, central and South America.

Heliconius longwings probably interbreed frequently, and the different color patterns that result have often been classified as different species. Identifying a particular pattern by species can be, ahem, interesting. Like the Julia and the Zebra, the caterpillars like passionflowers.

The blue is refraction.

I will present other Heliconius butterflies as I add new species. I have photos of quite a few different ones.

Clysonymus Longwing

Heliconius clysonymus. Yup, central and South America.

My suspicion about all these butterflies is that these are mostly varieties rather than species. That could also account for the sheer variety in small differences in the pattern.

Hibiscus with Monarch

Danaus plexippus.

You can see by looking at the monarch, that this hibiscus blossom is HUGE. This monarch is normal size. The greenhouse where they keep the butterflies has many gorgeous flowers in it. Most of them are orchids, but there are others as well.

Monarchs are famous for their long-range migration. Sometimes a given migration can span several generations of the butterfly. Monarch larvae like to eat plants that make them taste terrible to birds, particularly milkweed. The color pattern warns the birds to leave them alone. Some other butterflies that might taste better have a similar pattern, which also protects them from birds. Males like to puddle in mud puddles and oil stains.

Green-banded Peacock

Papilio palinurus. Asia.

This is another of my favorite butterflies. I got this picture in Boston. They have a butterfly house there as well. Unfortunately, they also keep Chinese Button Quail, which like to harass the butterflies, so many of them are not in excellent condition. But this one was.

After years of looking for a beautiful specimen at the Tucson Botanical Gardens, I finally found one:

Caterpillars like Euodia. The green color is produced by light refraction.

Indian Dead Leaf

Kallima paralekta. Some authorities claim these butterflies are found in India, Malaysia, and Australia. Others say you can't find them in India, but in Indonesia, including Java and Sumatra. Colors on the underside of the wings vary widely between specimens, and some even look like there is fungus growing on the wings. It is all color patterns. The line along the middle of the wings resembles the midriff of a leaf. The markings are one of the best examples of camouflage in butterflies.

As you can see, the "un" side of the wings looks just like a dead leaf. The "up" side is another story altogether.

The blue is refraction.

Costa Rican Clearwing

Greta oto. Central and South America.

Sometimes the butterfly just plain won't sit where you'd like. But this place shows the transparency of the wings nicely.

The transparency is due to the fact that the wings lack the colored scales of other butterflies. Caterpillars and butterflies feast on plants full of alkaloids that make them taste bad to all predators. The same alkaloids are converted into pheromones to attract the females.

Real Macro Photography - Owl Butterfly

Caligo eurilochus. India and Australia.

Sometimes I like to get in real close. This is a detail of the butterfly's "un" wing. In the original photograph, you can actually see the individual scales on the wing. Owls tend to be rather placid, so this is not a difficult shot. They also prefer to rest with wings closed. It seems there were always a half dozen or so resting on a particular tree trunk.

Giant Owl from a Distance

Caligo eurilochus. Central America.

Memnon Giant Owl

Caligo memnon. A cousin, apparently.

Notice the subtle differences in color. These are all refractions: the light blue, and the yellow.

Gulf Fritillary

Agraulis vanillae

The Gulf Fritillary is a local butterfly. I have seen them on a number of occasions. I got these pictures at the Tucson Botanical Gardens.

Common Leopard

Phalanta phalantha

This butterfly, which resembles the Gulf Fritillary so much I get them confused, is from India and Australia.

This butterfly prefers to rest in the sunlight. For food, it likes Lantana, Duranta, Meyenia laxiflora, Gymnosporia montana and thistles.

Atlas Moth

Attacus atlas. Asia.

We can't have photos of butterflies without also including pictures of moths!

I imagine this is my favorite moth, and I never thought I would really ever get to photograph one. This is a female. If you look really closely, you will see that she has four eggs just between the bottom tips of the wings. These moths seemed to lay eggs in the greenhouse regularly; I often saw them. But they were not allowed to hatch. I'm not sure why.

This photo is a closeup of the antennae of a male. The female antennae are much less developed by comparison. Males have smaller wings than females.

This moth and the African Moon Moth below come out of their cocoons without mouth parts, so they cannot eat, and only live a few days. The caterpillars produce silk which is broken into short fibers, and used in India for non-commercial uses. The silk resembles wool and is more durable than that of the silk moth.

The larvae like citrus trees. They stay in the pupa stage for about four weeks.

It is said this is the largest member of Lepidoptera in the world, though the wingspan of the White Witch Moth is slightly longer. The name in Cantonese means "Snake's Head Moth" because of the resemblance to a snake's head.

African Moon Moth

Argema mimosae

While we are on the topic of moths...

Of course, this moth is from Africa. It is similar to the Luna Moth, which I have also photographed. In this picture, the moth is clinging to the back side of the orchid, so that most of its head is not visible. The second photo is a closeup of the head of an African Moon Moth.

African Moon Moths are silk moths. They like to live in sub-tropical bush country. Many different moths produce silk, but most aren't harvested.

Silver-barred Emperor

Charaxes druceanus

Back to butterflies. This one is from Africa. The thing I find most fascinating about this butterfly (and many others) is the way in which these almost gossamer-thin wings can look totally different on one side, from on the other.

Disturbed Tigerwing

Mechanitis polymnia

Central and South America.

When I was observing this butterfly recently, I told the man standing next to me what it was. He wondered why it is called "disturbed". My guess is it's because the pattern isn't strictly like the stripes of a tiger.

Blue Clipper

Parthenos sylvia lilacinus

South Africa, Southeast Asia.

This butterfly comes in several flavors, er colors. I have photos of some of the others that I will post sometime.

Priamus Birdwing

Ornithoptera priamus

Native of India and Africa. They are called "birdwings" because of the awkward appearance in flight, resembling the flight of a bird, or so they say. Personally, I don't think bird flight is awkward. :) There are about 90 subspecies of this butterfly. Some varieties have a pretty blue in the male instead of green.

The first photo is a male resting with wings closed. They almost always rest this way. These butterflies are very active, and when they aren't resting, they are fluttering constantly. This makes getting a photo of the open wings a serious challenge. The next two photos are of the male with wings open, and the last one is the female.

Transandean Cattleheart

Parides iphidamas

As the name implies, these are from Central and South America. These are usually active, in my experience, but on this day, three of them were quite cooperative.

The caterpillars are poisonous to predators because they eat plants of the Aristolochia genus. Females live and reproduce on the edges of forests.

Bamboo Page

Philaethria dido

Central and South America. These butterflies tend to be more placid, and more likely to pose with wings open. As you can see, these resemble the Malachite, and it took me awhile to be able to distinguish between them reliably. This is a common problem, because they differ only in wing pattern.

The caterpillars like passionflowers.

Malachite

Siproeta stelenes

For comparison, of course. :) Central and South America. We are supposed to get these in Arizona occasionally, though I can't say I have ever seen one in the wild.

As I suspected, it was named after the mineral Malachite because of the wing color (and Malachite is a gorgeous mineral, by the way.)

Adults have a rather omnivorous diet: flower nectar, rotting fruit, dead animals, and bat dung.

Owlet

Opsiphanes sp.

Another view of the butterfly that opens this lens. Central and South America. I have only caught a glimpse of the top side of this butterfly, but I think the underside is prettier anyway.

The various Owl butterflies are so named because the spots on the underside of the wings remind people of owl's eyes. They evidently also remind birds of this; hence, birds leave them alone.

Great Orange Tip

Hebomoia glaucippe

Asia and Australia. This is a fairly active butterfly. Their markings differ a little depending on whether the individual came from a wet season or a dry season brood.

Blue Mountain Swallowtail - Papilio ulysses

From India and Australia, this one can be a bit of a challenge to photograph, because they are active. Also, most of the time, the butterfly exhibit doesn't have any.

Mocker Swallowtail - Papilio dardanus

I first saw this butterfly in Boston. It took awhile before I identified it, partly because it isn't quite as brightly colored as some other butterflies. You find this one in Africa.

Rusty-tipped Page - Siproeta epaphus

aka Chocolate Malachite. That's the name I first learned for it, and my brain won't let me switch gears! :( It is classified with the Malachite, so there must be some resemblance, but for colors, definitely not! From Central America.

Here is the underside of the Rusty-tipped Page.

Cruiser - Vindula arsinoe

This is the female. I actually think she's prettier than the male. From India and Australia.

Cruiser

On the other hand, the male is pretty, too.

Flame-bordered Charaxes - Charaxes protoclea

This is the male. This is another species where I think the female is prettier. I have not yet photographed a female. From Africa.

Giant Charaxes - Charaxes castor

As far as I know, the Charaxes genus is found only in Africa.

Paper Kite - Idea leuconoe

Not colorful, but with a beautiful pattern. India and Australia.

Helena Birdwing - Troides helena

India and Africa.

Tiger with Tails - Consul fabius

This one seemed to prefer to rest with wings only partly open.

Red Lacewing - Cethosia biblis

Asia.

I think the underside is prettier. Fortunately, they prefer to sit with their wings closed.

Common Longwing - Heliconius erato luscombei

As I have mentioned, these longwing butterflies interbreed freely. Personally, I think they're all the same species, just different varieties. After all, we don't call a black poodle a different species from a white poodle. :)

We're back in Central and South America. :)

Lurcher - Yoma sabina

India and Australia.

Brown Clipper - Parthenos sylvia philippensis

India and Australia. Three different color patterns classified as the same species, with subspecies name attached.

Archduke - Lexias dirtea

Female. India and Australia.

Male.

Grey Pansy - Precis atlites

India.

More to come! Please drop by again.

Your Thoughts on Butterflies

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    • mel-kav profile image

      mel-kav 4 years ago

      I love that you referred to butterflies as "flying flowers". How true. Butterflies are magnificent. I, too, like to photograph butterflies and other insects. My photos are not as good as yours. Love the photos - beautiful lens!

    • Cynthia Haltom profile image

      Cynthia Haltom 4 years ago from Diamondhead

      Butterflies are such beautiful creature, I really appreciate the way mother nature designed them. Their colors make my yard alive all summer long and inspire me to plan more flowers for their pleasure every year. I am currently looking for more butterfly bushes.

    • Pat Goltz profile image
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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @Bartukas: Thank you and you're welcome!

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      Bartukas 4 years ago

      I love butterflies beautiful lens you have made here thanks

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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @Christian_Clicks: Thank you, and you're welcome. I just feel lucky I can take pictures like that.

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      Christian_Clicks 4 years ago

      What beautiful butterfly images! Thanks for sharing.

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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @Sylvestermouse: Thank you so much!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 4 years ago from United States

      Wow! Your butterfly photos are stunning!!! I do love butterflies. They are all beautiful :)

    • CoolFool83 profile image

      CoolFool83 4 years ago

      Butterflies are so beautiful.

    • Pat Goltz profile image
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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @JeffSawyer: You're welcome, and thank you for the nice comment.

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      JeffSawyer 4 years ago

      Butterflies are amazing.Thanks for sharing

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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @Sky Breeze: You're welcome.

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 4 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      what a beautiful presentation on butterflies. stunning picture.

    • Sky Breeze profile image

      May Matthew 4 years ago

      Great collection! Many thanks for sharing!

    • Pat Goltz profile image
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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @sukkran trichy: Thank you so much. The butterflies are beautiful. I just catch them with my camera. :)

    • Pat Goltz profile image
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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @choosehappy: Thank you, and thanks for the blessing!

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      Vikki 4 years ago from US

      Beautiful job on a beautiful subject ;) *Blessed*

    • Pat Goltz profile image
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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @SueM11: Thank you very much! I just love being able to photograph these butterflies! I went again yesterday. I should put up more photos.

    • SueM11 profile image

      Sue Mah 4 years ago from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

      What a beautiful collection you have displayed. We have lots of varieties of butterflies here so I really enjoyed your photographs. Blessed by an Angel

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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @LaraineRoses: Thank you very much!

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      Laraine Sims 4 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      Beautiful captures, Pat. I like it "flying flowers." Angel blessings!

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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @yelgab lm: Thank you!

    • yelgab lm profile image

      yelgab lm 4 years ago

      Fantastic information and photos

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      sailor_man 4 years ago

      Thanks for the information

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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @HarrietC LM: Thank you so much! :)

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      HarrietC LM 4 years ago

      Wow! They're all so beautiful and you've captured them really well! =)

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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @pearls2cents lm: Thank you! Obviously, I love butterflies, too. :)

    • pearls2cents lm profile image

      pearls2cents lm 4 years ago

      I love butterflies! Congrats on such a great lens!

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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @sheilamarie78: Thanks so much, sheilamarie!

    • sheilamarie78 profile image

      sheilamarie78 4 years ago

      Beautiful lens, Patgoltz! I love your photographs!

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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @lesliesinclair: Thank you for your kind words!

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      These are beautiful shots of some of our natural elegance.

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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @imolaK: Oh, I absolutely agree! It shows the creativity of God and how much He loves us to give us such beauty. We are commanded to take care of the earth.

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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @vinodkpillai lm: Thank you so much for appreciating my lens, especially since you are a student of entomology.

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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @montanatravel52: Thank you so much! I love it when people get pleasure and delight from the pictures I make.

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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @kerbev: Thank you for your kind comments! Hopefully, you will get better pictures of butterflies soon.

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      kab 4 years ago from Upstate, NY

      I went to a butterfly sanctuary for the first time this summer - in York Beach. It was beautiful! They were so gorgeous I realized that I needed a new camera. Mine didn't do them justice. (Yours did!)

    • montanatravel52 profile image

      montanatravel52 4 years ago

      What an interesting page with beautiful pics - can't wait to share with my 5 yr old daughter who LOVES butterflies when she gets home from school, thanks! Congrats on the Giant Squid status, well deserved!

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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @adminghb: Thank you!

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      adminghb 4 years ago

      Amazing photos ! Congratulations on becoming a Giant Squid !

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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @cyberflutist: Thank you very much!

    • cyberflutist profile image

      cyberflutist 4 years ago

      Butterflies are so beautiful. This is a gorgeous lens. Congratulations!

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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @poldepc lm: Thank you!

    • poldepc lm profile image

      poldepc lm 4 years ago

      congrats on becoming a Giant Squid

    • Pat Goltz profile image
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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @VeseliDan: Thank you so much!

    • Pat Goltz profile image
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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @coolaunt: Thank you very much! I should write about techniques, because that's half of it, and the other half is lots of patience and lots of pictures. Typically, I take 100 pictures and keep less than 10. Or worse. :)

    • VeseliDan profile image

      VeseliDan 4 years ago

      Butterflies on your photos look stunning! *blessed*

    • coolaunt profile image

      coolaunt 4 years ago

      Brilliant. I love butterflies and the photographs are spectacular. I will visit this lens often. I wish I had your knowledge and skills in photography. The ability to capture a beautiful moment and save it like you have in these photos is a gift.

    • Pat Goltz profile image
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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @Jack2205: I agree. Thank you.

    • Pat Goltz profile image
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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you. You can certainly try to use your camera. You might get lucky. It isn't just the camera; it is also the photographer. In the meantime, it would be helpful to put your pennies in a piggy bank to save up for a new camera. ;)

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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @CNelson01: I love to get such wonderful feedback from other photographers. Thank you and thank you!

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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @adragast24: Thank you. Much appreciated.

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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @Mary Stephenson: Thank you. I know what you mean. I also find caterpillars fascinating, and I find the fact that they liquefy in the third stage of life TOTALLY fascinating. But I wouldn't call caterpillars beautiful as such, just elegantly designed.

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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @floppypoppygift1: Thank you very much!

    • floppypoppygift1 profile image

      floppypoppygift1 4 years ago

      Lovely article and stunning butterfly imagery!! Cheers~cb

    • Mary Stephenson profile image

      Mary Stephenson 4 years ago from California

      Butterflies have such beauty, it is hard to imagine they were some big caterpillar before. Went to a butterfly greenhouse in BC a number of years back, it was very fascinating. Nice lens.

    • adragast24 profile image

      adragast24 4 years ago

      Congrats on the giant squid and on the purple star!

    • CNelson01 profile image

      Chuck Nelson 4 years ago from California

      Interesting lens and as a fellow photographer I really appreciate your pics. Congratulations on your GS promotion.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I love butterflies, but my camera is not good enough for them and they are too quick too. Beautiful photos.

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      Jack 4 years ago

      Butterflies are beautiful.

    • Pat Goltz profile image
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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @RuthieDenise: Thank you. I am happy to share!

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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @lbrummer: Thank you!

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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @getmoreinfo: Thank you for the kind words and the angel blessings.

    • Pat Goltz profile image
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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @cassieann: Thank you. Please come again. I'll be adding more when I have time.

    • Pat Goltz profile image
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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @Deborah Swain: Thank you for the VERY kind words!

    • Pat Goltz profile image
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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @Dressage Husband: Thank you for the great comment and the squidliking. I hope you get a chance to go to another butterfly farm or exhibit. Look for an exhibit in your area.

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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @Elaine Chen: Thank you. As for flying around, they certainly do plenty of that, but I can't catch them then. I keep forgetting to take my video camera.

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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @angelatvs: Thank you for the kind words and congrats!

    • Pat Goltz profile image
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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @snrklz: Thank you! I like the Indian Dead Leaf, too. Saw another one yesterday.

    • Pat Goltz profile image
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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @LiteraryMind: Thank you! Take a look around. There might be a butterfly exhibit near you. There are quite a few in the United States, not to mention other parts of the world.

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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @Bodywise: Thank you for the interesting story, and I am glad my pictures helped. And thank you for the congrats!

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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @Elastara: Thank you for your wonderful comments and the congrats!

    • Pat Goltz profile image
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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @webmavern: You're welcome, and thank you! I will put up more as soon as I have time.

    • Pat Goltz profile image
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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @johnsja: Thank you so much!

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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @anonymous: If you can, plant a butterfly garden. Get a good telephoto lens and a camera where you can change lenses (DSLR) or just try using your ordinary camera. Spend an hour or so and take lots and lots of pictures. It takes time to make a collection. Most of my Arizona butterfly pictures were taken with telephoto lenses. The best place to get them is the butterfly garden at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. I was able to get a 600mm mirror hand-focus lens for about $35 (someone obviously replaced it with something less "obsolete") and that's what I used for most of them. A mirror lens is like a mirror telescope. It's lightweight. It has NO depth of field, which is one reason you need lots of photos. But you get the knack of focusing quickly after awhile. A butterfly will often hang out at a cluster of flowers long enough for you to do that.

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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @BarbaraSellers: Thank you for the nice comment! I have close to 90 species so far. It took me several years. I try to go once a month, and they are open 7 months. I enjoyed your lens; thanks for telling me about it. You have been working hard! Keep it up!

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      RuthieDenise 4 years ago

      I love butterflies and watch them in our yard. These are beautiful pics.

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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @Wednesday-Elf: Thank you for the kind words, and two messages! :)

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      johnsja 4 years ago

      Stunning photos and congrats on being a giant!

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      webmavern 4 years ago

      These are fantastic photos of the most beautiful butterflies, thanks for sharing them!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Beautiful gorgeous photos very well done. I managed to get five or six photos of the ordinary white butterfly with black spots on it with just my ordinary camera and it was very difficult. Just sheer luck that I got them into view as they are so very quick.

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      BarbaraSellers 4 years ago

      Beautiful photos! Did you take all these photos yourself? How long did it take you to get this extensive collection of photographs? I used to chase butterflys as a kid on a Minnesota farm. I'm new here. Please check out my "Flower Power" 'cause I need more Squid Likes. I remember Eisenhower getting elected, too, so we might be in the same age category -- at least senior citizens. LOL!

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      Elastara 4 years ago

      Gorgeous butterflies! Thanks for sharing with us these little lovelies wonders from the Nature :). Oh yes, congrats on being giant squidee :).

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      getmoreinfo 4 years ago

      These Tropical Butterflies are so beautiful, I love the photos. Blessings.

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      Bodywise 4 years ago

      Living in Guatemala now, less than an hour ago i heard a flapping going on behind my desk , it was a giant butterfly. I was so excited and afraid for it that a guided it out quickly without taking too close a look. Then doing my morning reading at SQ finding your wonderful photos. I got a better look. Thanks and congrats to you.

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      Loraine Brummer 4 years ago from Hartington, Nebraska

      Beautiful photos!!

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      Ellen Gregory 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      The butterflies and your photos are absolutely beautiful. I am jealous that you live near such a beautiful exhibit. I wish it were me. Great lens.

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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @ecogranny: Thank you for the wonderful comment and the welcome! I appreciate it very much. The butterfly gazers are not a huge problem; we allow each other to move around freely.

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      snrklz 4 years ago

      Nice lens. That Indian Dead Leaf is really cool looking. Congrats on becoming a giant!

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      Wednesday-Elf 4 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Absolutely gorgeous photos. Loved seeing so many different kinds of butterflies. Congrats, new Giant!

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      angelatvs 4 years ago

      What wonderful photos! Congratulations New Super Squid!

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      Kathryn Grace 4 years ago from San Francisco

      What amazing photos! I know how hard those are to capture, especially with other butterfly gazers elbowing one, so most impressive. Welcome to the Giants Club!

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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @vineliner57: Thank you! We don't get to see the Monarch butterfly migration here. It is a delight to see them in the exhibit.

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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @lewisgirl: Thank you for all your kind words!

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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @KandH: Thank you, and thank you for squidliking so many of my lenses!

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      Pat Goltz 4 years ago

      @GeoffWakeling: Thank you! It's great you have had such wonderful experiences!

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      cassieann 4 years ago

      Beautiful photos. I really enjoyed this butterfly lens.

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      lewisgirl 4 years ago

      Absolutely breathtaking! I love butterflies. Thanks and congrats on giant squidom!

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      Elaine Chen 4 years ago

      what a beautiful lens with beauty butterflies "flying around"