After our Norfolk Photography Group outing to Hickling during June, I followed this up with a trip to Upton Fen. I was really lucky with the weather which was ideal for butterflies. I caught this Swallowtail nectaring/feeding on thistle. I used my Canon 5D with 180mm Macro lens and handheld. I used an incident light reading and shot in manual exposure with settings at ISO 400, f16, 1/400th sec.
Swallowtail butterflies are large, colourful butterflies that frequent several area of Norfolks fenland and broads area. I recently visited How Hill and saw what is probably the second hatching of these butterflies.
Extract from Wickepedia
Swallowtail butterflies are large, colorful butterflies in the family Papilionidae, and include over 550 species. Though the majority are tropical, members of the family inhabit every continent except Antarctica. The family includes the largest butterflies in the world, the birdwing butterflies of the genus Ornithoptera.
Swallowtails have a number of distinctive features; for example, the papilionid caterpillar bears a repugnatorialorgan called the osmeterium on its prothorax. The osmeterium normally remains hidden, but when threatened, the larva turns it outward through a transverse dorsal groove by inflating it with fluid.
The forked appearance of the swallowtails’ hindwings, which can be seen when the butterfly is resting with its wings spread, gave rise to the common name swallowtail. As for its formal name, Linnaeus chose Papilio for the type genus, as papilio is Latin for “butterfly”. For the specific epithets of the genus, Linnaeus applied the names of Greek heroes to the swallowtails. The type species: Papilio machaon honored Machaon, one of the sons of Asclepius, mentioned in the Iliad.