One man’s loss is another man’s gain

Upperwing and underwing close-ups of the Painted Lady

Although I spent many hours in the field, finding a dead butterfly is a rare thing. I suppose most are picked up by predators in a minute. So when I cycled back home from work and found this dead Painted Lady (Vanessa Cardui) I did not hesitate and picked it up. It was in mint condition except for a missing antenna and some legs.

At home, I keep a large piece of black paper exactly for this purpose: to provide a nice, even background for close-ups. The shiny back cover of a book provided some nice mirror-effects on the foreground:

Painted lady vanessa cardui

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM   f/8   1/250   ISO 200

This is good opportunity to photograph the intricate details on the underwing. What a beauty the Painted Lady is:

Painted lady vanessa cardui underwing

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM   f/8   1/400   ISO 200

….look at those magnificent patterns and detail…

Painted lady vanessa cardui underwing detail

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM   f/7.1   1/160   ISO 200

The upperwing was already missing some scales in the lower right corner:

Painted lady vanessa cardui upperwing

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM   f/7.1   1/160   ISO 200

What I learned is that even tiny hairs grow out of its eyes….

Painted lady vanessa cardui head

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM   f/7.1   1/80   ISO 200