Small White (butterfly) / Kleiner Kohlweißling

This is admittedly not my best butterfly photo. But at least I know what kind of butterfly it is and I like how translucent the wings come out in this picture. Today I spotted a Red Admiral when I was walking along the river. I couldn’t take a good picture of it, but at least a quick “aim and shoot” for identification. Until three weeks ago, I would have sworn we had three species of butterflies in the area: Small Whites, Brimstone and Peacock. Turns out I was very wrong. In the meantime I have found a site with species descriptions of butterflies found in southern Germany, it describes over 600 species (including various moths). I am learning a lot more than photography these days.

And I love it.


Das ist nicht mein bestes Schmetterlingsfoto, aber wenigstens kann ich die Art identifizieren, außerdem gefällt mir wie durchsichtig die Flügel auf dem Bild wirken. Auf meinem Spaziergang heute ist ein Admiral um mich herumgeflattert. Ein gutes Foto konnte ich von ihm nicht machen, aber wenigstens einen Schnappschuss zur Identifikation. Bis vor drei Wochen hätte ich gesagt, dass es hier drei Schmetterlingsarten gibt: Kohlweißlinge, Zitronenfalter und Tagpfauenaugen. Inzwischen habe ich ein klein wenig dazugelernt und eine Seite mit Artenbeschreibungen aus Süddeutschland entdeckt auf der über 600 Arten (inklusive Nachtfalter) beschrieben sind. Fotografieren bildet.

Und das ist gut so.


5 thoughts on “Small White (butterfly) / Kleiner Kohlweißling

    • I checked for a German source on the origin of the Red Admiral. I couldn’t find any. Chances are, it got scattered all over the northern hemisphere (northern Africa and parts of Asia too) a long time ago. The caterpillars feed exclusively on stinging nettles (Urtica dioica) and those grow all over the place.

      Stinging nettles are popular caterpillar food for other species too, which would explain why there are so many butterflies along some paths I have recently walked. The stinging nettles along them were some 4 ft high.

  1. Stinging nettles 4 ft. high: I wouldn’t like to run into those. We have nettles in central Texas too, but they’re small and stay close to the ground. In spite of their size, I can tell you from experience that they still sting.

    • The single biggest danger in our countryside are ticks. They transmit two serious infectious disases and a few less dangerous ones. Therefore it wise not to expose any skin to any plants. Long pants, lace-up shoes and socks are minimum requirements. I also always have something with long sleeves in my bag and contemplate adding a pair of white cotton gloves to my photography equiment, so I could reach into plants without worrying about the ticks or the nettles all that much.

      My minor wildlife phobia has served me well, no tick bites and no nettle accidents roaming the countryside on my own. People are asked to stay neatly kept paths anyway. Let the animals have some privacy.

      • We have ticks in Texas too, but on only a few occasions have I found one on me when I returned from hours out in the wild. What people in the United States worry about the most from ticks these days is Lyme disease.

        When I go out in nature I always wear a hat, long pants and a long-sleeve shirt, even when the temperature is projected to reach 38° C, as it has every day here for weeks. I go out in the morning, well before it gets that hot, but by the time I come home my shirt weighs twice what it did at the beginning, from all the perspiration.

        Like you, I’ve though about gloves, but likewise haven’t acted on the idea yet. In any case, I’m glad you’ve managed to avoid tick bites and nettle stings.

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