Finally back with the MAC team for a macro shoot after a long hiatus due to school and work. It was a crazy and exciting night filled with intriguing and rare subjects! Furthermore, I managed to do some thorough testing with the new diffuser that I made and I’m more than impressed! The light is so soft and bright that it really brings out the textures in the subject. Look at the photos and let me know what you think! Do let me know if I got any of the IDs wrong and any help with the unidentified species would be greatly appreciated 🙂
Disclaimer: Locations for macro shoots would not be disclosed to protect the arthropods from poaching.
We came across several species of Assassin Bugs and I will compile a species list of all the Assassin Bugs I have came across in a separate post in the future once I have more content. Assassin bugs are predatory insects that have a long beak that they use to pierce and suck those juices out from their prey. They are known to bite humans as well and in other countries, some spread the lethal Chagas disease (thankfully there aren’t any cases in Singapore). We were fortunate enough to document these fascinating predators feeding and you can clearly see that prominent long beak in action! Some species are also capable of incredible camouflage, do scroll down to learn more!
Assassin Bug (Acanthaspis cf. quadriannulata) sucking body fluids from prey
One of the highlights of the night! Finally coming across an Acanthaspis petax when I’m fully equipped with my gear. This Assassin Bug wears the carcasses of its prey by secreting a sticky substance and placing the exoskeletons on top of it. The prey masks the smell of the Assassin bug and enables this predator to live amongst its prey undetected! Absolutely an amazing bug and I had a hard time trying to get the ants in focus as well~ This species has been documented and featured so many times and heres a link to Micro Monsters where you can learn more in a short video (hosted by DavidAttenborough).
Similar to the Acanthaspis petax, the Masked Hunter excretes a sticky substance where dust and lint from the surroundings settle on its back to provide full camouflage! It probably serves as a deterrent cause I doubt any predator would want a mouth full of dust anyway. Look closely and see if you can spot its eyes! The 2nd shot is the same species shot in Malaysia~ Here are 3 other species we saw that night!
Valentia hoffmanni, Reduviidae / Unidentified, Reduviidae / Acanthaspis sp in respective order.
Although there weren’t many Huntsman Spiders or Jumping Spiders around, we still managed to find some pretty cool Arachnids!
Here’s a comparison of the Female (top) and Male (bottom) <Ornamental Tree Trunk Spider (Herennia multipuncta)> showcasing sexual dimorphism at its best. You can usually find these spiders on the trunks of trees!
Gorgeous juvenile <Heteropoda Lunula> found hiding in between two leaves!
Unusual looking Orb weaver (Araneidae sp)
Two Harvestmen Spiders, one eating a mushroom and another with two yellow stripes at the sides.
We also came across the usual Hammerhead flatworm, one with an unusual grey and white colouration and an unidentified worm~
Other notable finds
The only cockroach that I’m willing to shoot (to date), the cute Pill Cockroach (Perishpaerus sp) that has just moulted which results in the red colour. They are usually just black. Doesn’t it look like its wearing shades?
Fly infected with Cordyceps. Should have spent more time with this subject but I was too tired after close to 6 hours of shooting. Tried to get to eye level but the stick was too short and was curved upwards 😦
Flatid Bug Nymph (Flatidae)! Really an unusual looking critter! It has four flipper-like feelers in front of its face!
These shots really show off how soft and spread the light is, you can “see” the texture on the subjects! The Asian Camel Cricket was so large that each time it hopped we could hear the cricket landing with a thud on those dead leaves! The only amphibians we saw were Asian Toads, Four-lined Tree Frogs and this Black Spotted Sticky Frog, laying in ambush to slurp up insects that cross its path.
From top to bottom:
- Possible Flatid Planthopper
- Wasps nest
- Snail with emerging shell
- Leaf Katydid
- Mantis (Leptomantella sp.)
- St Andrews Cross Spider
- Bark Scorpion (Lychas sp)
TOP find of the night
The rarest find of the night was a pregnant, female Boxer Mantis! I have personally only come across the nymph of this species and they both look spectacular! Heres a comparison, nymph was shot some time back
Don’t they look amazing! But WAIT there’s more!!!
Look at all those spikes! While shooting this mantis, we noticed that only at a certain angle, a beautiful iridescent blue can be seen on the inner-side of her front legs. Took a long time getting the shot especially after my focus light died on me~ Check out the results below!
Nature is simply mind-boggling and each shoot brings about new discoveries and lessons learnt! If you ever want to learn more about our biodiversity or macro photography in general, feel free to contact me!
Do share this article if you like what you see! More to come!
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