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Common Castor on a Bird of Paradise II

Common Castor on a Bird of Paradise II
: Pearl Rynjah (Pearl) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 105 W: 25 N: 76] (321)
: Animals
: 2010-10-03
: Insects
: Canon EOS400D, Canon EF 100 mm F2.8 Macro USM
Exposure: f/13.0, 1/100
: , Workshop
: 2012-04-05 2:09
: 3295
: 11
[Note Guidelines]
Hello dear friends,

Today is another picture of Common Castor's on the beautiful Bird of paradise. Here are 3 butterflies in 3 different positions. You can see the wing patterns when it's opened and closed.

Strelitzia : Bird of paradise flower
Strelitzia is a genus of five species of perennial plants, native to South Africa. The genus is named after the duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, birthplace of Queen Charlotte of the United Kingdom. A common name of the genus is bird of paradise flower, because of a supposed resemblance of its flowers to the bird of paradise. In South Africa it is commonly known as a crane flower. The species S. nicolai is the largest in the genus, reaching 10 m tall, with stately white and blue flowers; the other species typically reach 2 to 3.5 m tall, except S. caudata which is a tree of a typically smaller size than S. nicolai. The leaves are large, 30200 cm long and 1080 cm broad, similar to a banana leaf in appearance but with a longer petiole, and arranged strictly in two ranks to form a fan-like crown of evergreen foliage. The flowers are produced in a horizontal inflorescence emerging from a stout spathe. They are pollinated by sunbirds, which use the spathe as a perch when visiting the flowers; the weight of the bird on the spathe opens it to release the pollen onto the bird's feet, which is then deposited on the next flower it visits.

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Zingiberales
Family: Strelitziaceae
Genus: Strelitzia


Ariadne merione also known as the Common Castor, is an orange butterfly with brown lines whose larvae feed almost exclusively on Castor Ricinus communis. It is similar in appearance to Ariadne ariadne, the Angled Castor. This species is found in south-eastern Asia. Their wingspan ranges between 3035mm. Like others in the Nymphalidae family, their front two legs are small and unused, effectively making them four-legged. These smaller appendages are covered with long hairs, giving them the characteristic brush look.

Wet-season form: Male: Upper side brownish ochraceous. Fore and hind wings crossed by slender, somewhat obscure, very sinuous or zigzag dark basal, two subbasal and two discal lines disposed in pairs, followed by a single, sometimes double, postdiscal and a single subterminal slender line. All these lines more or less interrupted anteriorly on the hind wing, which has a smooth unmarked uniform appearance from costa to subcostal vein and vein 5. On the fore wing there is in addition a series of obscure spots between the postdiscal and subterminal markings, arid a small white subcostal spot before the apex. Underside much as in Ariadne ariadne, but the transverse chestnut bands broader, more diffuse. Antennae, head, thorax and abdomen brownish ochraceous. Sex-mark on the underside of the fore wing as in A. ariadneno sex-mark on upper side of hind wing;
Female: Similar; but on the upperside the transverse lines broader, more diffuse, with a greater tendency to form bands; the postdiscal line always double, forming a band traversed by a series of dark ochraceous spots in the interspaces; these lines and bands continuous, not interrupted anteriorly on the hind wing as they are in the male. Underside: except for the sex-mark, as in the male.
Dry-season form: Upperside : ground-colour much paler, the transverse lines more distinctly in pairs, forming bands, the ground-colour between each pair more dusky brown. Underside similar to that in the wet-season form, but the ground-colour paler, the bands more diffuse.

All over India, Simla to Sikhim in the Himalayas, and recorded from Rajputana and Bengal; Assam; Burma; Tenasserim; Malayan Subregion. The Tenasserim specimens are darker and often without the white subcostal spot in the fore wing, approximating thus to the Southern Indian and Ceylon race.

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Nymphalidae
Genus: Ariadne
Species: A. merione

Binomial name
Ariadne merione

Thanks for viewing and your kind comments.
Have a great day.

anel, Silvio2006, buscape, jlinaresp has marked this note useful
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Hi, Pearl
There is an awful lot going on in this frame! the image suffers a little from having no clear dominant subject, but it is such an unusual scene that it makes an interesting real-life diorama to explore. As posted, the image is a little dark in my opinion, so I have tried a quick workshop to give an alternate presentation. I hope you like it.
Best wishes, Nigel.

  • Good 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3049 W: 3 N: 8714] (40568)
  • [2012-04-05 6:01]

Hello Pearl,
An interesting picture with this trio of Common Castor sitting on this striking Bird of Paradaise flower. The shot was a little bit tricky and you had some problems with light and contrast. Nigel's WS is imprving the shot and shows how special it is.
Kind regards

Ciao Pearl, lovely couple of nice butterflies on a fantastic flower, wonderful natural colors and splendid sharpness, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6177 W: 89 N: 15294] (64032)
  • [2012-04-05 15:00]

Hi Pearl,you caught the lucky moment whit great timing,not easy to see 3 butterflies on the same flower,the quality isn't the top,you could be better....and i know that you can! Have a nice day and thanks,Luciano

Hello Pearl,
fine capture of these butterflies on a Bird of Paradise with vivid colours and good sharpness. In the workshop of Nigel it is even a more impressive picture.
Best wishes and Happy Easter,

Hi Pearl,
Wow!... This image is a little visual poem!... I Like a lot!... Well done!

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