Blue Butterfly Taking Off -- 4 Frames in 1/15 Second

This is Plebejus saepiolus, the Greenish Blue butterfly.  It is shown at takeoff after nectaring on yarrow (Achillea millefolium). 

The four frames are in sequence, 1/60 second apart.

The image capture was done by analog video camera at its "high speed sports" shutter setting -- about 1/4000 second.

Analog video is often described as 30 frames per second, but it is actually 60 fields per second, each field consisting of just the odd- or even-numbered scan lines.  By post-processing to separate the fields, one can effectively get low resolution snapshots (320x240 pixels) at 60 per second, as shown here.

Plebejus saepiolus butterfly taking off

Page last modified August 14, 2005.