I chanced upon a Death’s Head Hawk Moth caterpillar (Acherontia atropos), about 2 inches long and dangling from a leaf at night. With its bright yellow surface, I tried 3 different lighting methods to illuminate the background.
Which do you prefer? :)
#1 First shot with full flash, leaving the distant background black as it was night time. Highest contrast and clarity, but some may argue whether its natural or taken to a studio?
#2 Used a long exposure and directed a strong torch to the vegetation in the background. Looks almost like daylight now! Bokeh lovers may prefer this.
#3 And finally, an in-between. I preferred this as the dark green background gives a more natural feel, while preserving a dark background for the caterpillar to stand out.
Did a poll at Clubsnap....
- 11 chose the black background
- 5 chose the bright background
- 4 chose the dark green background
Looks like my choice was the least popular... lol
Here are some other odd-looking caterpillars found in Singapore's parks.
#4 Caterpillar of a Day Flying Moth (Pompelon marginata). It secretes fluids out of its little body spikes for self-defence. More photos of this caterpillar here.
#5 Some caterpillars can get extremely hairy with hair as long as their bodies!
#6 Head of a Plain Nawab (Polyura hebe plautus) caterpillar. The majestic crown reminds me of a dragon king!
#7 This caterpillar of the Archduke (Lexias pardalis dirteana) is beautifully coloured and donned with a long line of appendages like a Christmas Tree. We sometimes called it the Christmas Cat. :P More photos of this caterpillar here.
#8 When crawling around, these caterpillars can get into very interesting poses!
#9 But they eat without control, and tend to expose themselves to birds after eating up the leaves. :(
#10 Some may resemble some kind of brush...
#11 Many couldn't make head or tail of this larva of the Nolid Moth. Affectionately known as the big head cat to some regular park visitors. That ought to tell you where the head lies. :)
#12 Some may have bright colours to ward off prey like this pair of Leopard Lacewing caterpillars, as bright colours often co-relates to venom!
#13 Plain Tiger's caterpillar, very distinctly coloured as well.
Onto the other findings for the night... :)
#14 A common subject now at Nangka Trail, but very tiny - about 3mm big.
#15 A Katydid with some really radical looking legs. Someone mentioned it being called a marvelous katydid???
#16 Full length view of this katydid
#17 Another regular subject - Singapore Tarantula. This time with Raynox as it was really too troublesome to take it off.
#18 Got really close to the eyes
#19 An interesting looking fella at its burrow entrance. Not as hairy as the other tarantulas, and sports orange legs. Possibly a juvenile Damarchus workmani
#20 Here's how it looks like when guarding its home
#21 Possibly the Neogea Nocticolor Spider, but I've never seen it on a leaf before. This fella was resting on a leaf.
#22 Closeup on what could be a sac spider. It ran off after this single shot. :(
#23 A very interesting looking Harvestman (Opiliones). Suspect that it has 2 arms with little pincers at the end.
#24 Front view, but the arms are out of focus
#25 Another common resident - the House Centipede (Scutigera coleoptrata). Light kindly provided by Steven Tor. :)
#26 Closer view at the House Centipede
The complete album can be viewed here.