Touch Down

Every Spring, The San Diego Zoo marshalls butterflies from all over the world for their Butterfly Jungle. There are many dozen different varieties and thousands in total, fluttring in and about the exhibit, landing on people and being shot by local Photographers. Tripods are not allowed due to space constraints, so we used a Monopod to capture this Macro of an Orange Iulia just as it was landing.

Dryas iulia (often incorrectly spelled julia), commonly called the Julia Butterfly or Julia Heliconian, is a species of brush-footed butterfly. The sole representative of its  genus Dryas, it is native from  Brazil to southern  Texas and  Florida, and in summer can sometimes be found as far north as eastern  Nebraska.

This butterfly is a fast flier and frequents clearings, paths, and margins of forests and woodlands. It feeds on the nectar of flowers, such as  lantanas and  Shepherd’s needle (Scandix pecten-veneris), and the tears of  caiman, the eye of which the butterfly irritates to produce tears. The species is popular in  butterfly houses because it is long-lived and active throughout the day.


12 responses

  1. Great capture! Love the eye detail and soft DOF of the flower and butterfly body.

    April 25, 2011 at 7:48 am

  2. Great shot, its amazing how close you got with it flying away.

    April 25, 2011 at 8:48 am

  3. really cool shot. The eyes on that thing are awesome.

    April 25, 2011 at 8:53 am

  4. Our zoo used to have a butterfly exhibit, but it’s moved and I don’t know when it starts again.

    This is a fantastic, POW! In your face shot!

    April 25, 2011 at 12:14 pm

  5. Awesome image, Erik, I love it! Great DOF and sharp, crisp details!

    April 25, 2011 at 1:39 pm

  6. You’ve captured Extraordinary! Beautifully mesmerizing.

    April 25, 2011 at 1:50 pm

  7. Very cool! I really like this shot…I’d love to try my hand at some macro photography.

    April 26, 2011 at 5:56 pm

  8. Love, love, LOVE this shot Erik!

    September 8, 2011 at 10:19 am

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  11. Great shot!

    January 17, 2012 at 5:51 am

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