Blue-Banded Swallowtail Butterfly
Blue-banded Swallowtail Butterfly (Papilio nireus)
feeding on nectar from a Cape Leadwort flower, Curry's Post, KZN, South Africa. © Scotch Macaskill
Camera Gear: Canon EOS 50D; Lens: Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM; Focal length: 400mm; Aperture: f/5.6; Shutter speed: 1/1250; ISO: 400
The blue-banded swallowtail, a member of the Papilionidae family, is a large, eye-catching butterfly with metallic blue bands on the upper side of its wings, as in the photo above.
The body of the swallowtail (something of a misnomer as many don’t have tails on their hind wings) is small and light in relation to the size of the wings.
When feeding from the nectar of flowers, the swallowtail flits from bloom to bloom, its legs just touching the flower while its rapidly vibrating wings maintain balance.
This presents an interesting photographic challenge, specially when using a macro lens. I opted instead for a telephoto lens and a fast shutter speed
— see Photographing Swallowtail Butterfly for more on this.
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