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Pieris rapae | Small White A lovely little Small White, I am curious about the &#039;pupil&#039; like marking in the eye. I have noticed this in many subjects, it always seems to be focus towards me regardless of the angle I am shooting from. Its quite suggestive of a focus point, does anyone know if this is actually the subject focusing on me/camera?<br />
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Pieris rapae | Small White

A lovely little Small White, I am curious about the 'pupil' like marking in the eye. I have noticed this in many subjects, it always seems to be focus towards me regardless of the angle I am shooting from. Its quite suggestive of a focus point, does anyone know if this is actually the subject focusing on me/camera?

    comments (3)

  1. That's a very interesting question. I had to look it up as I have witnessed this many times but never asked myself what it is. It turns out to be a pseudo pupil:




    From what I understand reading about it, it's not an actual pupil, more like an optical illusion. If you'd move around the insect whilst it sits still, the fake pupil would seem to follow you perfectly. It has something to do with the reflection of light, and apparently it also gives away clues about their visual system, which still is a "normal" compound system yet compound systems have a lot of variations.

    Still not that clear, but it's the best I can do for now.
    Posted 5 years ago, modified 5 years ago
    1. Wow, a great video. I wonder what would happen if those two eyes ever saw each other?
      Compound eyes indeed often 'have' a pseudo pupil which is purely optical and is not even a structure. It is believed to make a predator think that it has been noticed and is being actively watched even if it is actually asleep. Cool.
      Posted 5 years ago
      1. Legend goes the Praying Mantis has the most advanced optical system in the animal world, they really are in a league of their own. Posted 5 years ago

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The Small White is a small- to medium-sized butterfly species of the Yellows-and-Whites family Pieridae. It is also known as the Small Cabbage White and in New Zealand, simply as White Butterfly. The names "Cabbage Butterfly" and "Cabbage White" can also refer to the Large White.

Similar species: Moths And Butterflies
Species identified by Darryl Lane
View Darryl Lane's profile

By Darryl Lane

All rights reserved
Uploaded Sep 12, 2016. Captured Sep 11, 2016 09:50 in 60 Bournewood, Hamstreet, Ashford TN26 2HL, UK.
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark III
  • f/9.0
  • 1/6s
  • ISO100
  • 65mm