The antlion

When i first learned of its name, I thought there has been a mistake. The insect in the picture does not do justice to such a ferocious name. It has a slender, beautiful body with delicate wings and big round eyes and does not come across as a ferocious predator. Turns out, I’m right (well, at least partially).IMG_9619.JPG

The adult antlion (the one you see in the picture) feeds on nectar and pollen. The “lion” in its name comes more because of it’s larval stage when it traps and hunts many soft bodied insects that wander near its pit.

Spidey!

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Just got my camera back from the service centre and found this little guy making a home for himself  in my bathroom. He automatically qualified as an involuntary test subject. I hope he decides to move on by tomorrow morning.

The grumpy Leaf Hopper

I’ve been photographing more insects than birds recently. So much so that I’ve contemplated changing the name of my blog from birds to insects. But I realise its nonsense.

I’ve (re) invented a new technique to photograph insects. The technique involves a closable, transparent cup (which is also used to carefully release the insect into it’s natural habitat after the “photo session”), a shoe box and with some white paper, a home made light diffuser and some sugar crystals. It worked like a charm every single time I employed it to trap and photograph unsuspecting insects that had the misfortune of crawling into my apartment. But the last one I tried this on, misbehaved. Take a look at this picture.

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In my mind, it cannot get better than this for the insect. I was waiting for it to start digging into one of those crystals so that I can start clicking away. But instead, it hops onto the sugar crystal and starts looking around as if to see if there something more interesting around!

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This didn’t make sense. So I looked it up. Turns out it’s a leaf hopper! Which basically means they follow a strict diet plan that involves sucking the sap from leaves and trees and does not involve sugar crystals.

Here is another pic without the sugar. I thought he might like it.

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