ID please?

Nikon D850, 105 MM at 7.1, handheld, ISO 100.

I readily admit that I don’t know the name of the moth (?) on this flower. Please advise !!!


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Really nice. Did you focus stack this to get the moth? sharp and flower soft or is it a byproduct of your large aperture and plane of focus?

Kathy, this is a nice look at a Painted Lady (Vanessa carui), but also known as the thistle Butterfly because they prefer thistles as a nectar source. Love how she is covering almost the whole bloom of what looks to be a coneflower. Nice details where needed. The black BG makes both the flower and the BF stand out nicely. The square format works well for this. Nicely done.

Hi Mike!

Thanks! No focus stacking. I still am having difficulty with that. This is just aperture of 7.1 and plane of focus.


Shirley. Thank you for the ID! I took this in the middle of a stand of tall coneflowers and half of them had a painted lady in residence. Quite fun.

Kathy, I like the square format with your photo. The soft flower emphasizes the sharpness of the moth and the flower petals sloping down makes it even better.

Shirley, thanks for identifying the moth.

Hi Kathy,

I concur with everyone’s ID that the butterfly is a painted lady. Awesome image…Jim

Awesome photo image Kathy. The contrast and color came out amazing.

Kathy: A Painted Lady for sure and a great perch and color palette. One easy way to distinguish butterflys from moths is the antennae on a butterfly will be single stalks while moth antennae often look like a comb or TV antenna. (See this view of an Atlas moth). Moths also tend to fly more at night while butterflys rarely if ever fly at night. A moth caterpillar will spin a cocoon while a butterfly will form a chrysalis. They are different. Yours is a marvelous image and hope you can come up with more. >=))>

Kathy: Here’s a better view of moth antennae on a Sphinx moth.

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Thanks everyone for all the help. I think I now understand the difference between a moth and a butterfly!!

Kathy, this is a lovely look at this Painted Lady on a coneflower. Your plan of focus management adds a lot with the BF nicely sharp and the down curled petals of the flower going gently out of focus and getting a bit darker.

One thing I noticed immediately is the contrast. Light vs dark, sharp vs blurred and the complimentary colors. All three contrasts make this photo quite dynamic.

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