I would like to take this opportunity to thank my group of passionate macro photographers whom have been tirelessly trudging through forests with me every week for the past year. Everyone had their own full time jobs and families, but took a night out each week in search for tiny beauties. A big thanks to Victor, Melvyn, David, Chris, Andrew and James. Thanks for the rides in the middle of the night, for generously sharing your finds with everyone, and for looking out for each other. Heartfelt thanks to you all, I am grateful to be with this bug-crazy gang.
This post is a consolidation of the memorable pictures taken this year. They may not be the best photos, but they will be etched onto my milestone to conclude the end of 2013. Enjoy, and have a happy new bug year! :)
As always, I will start with some spider families.
- It had been a rainy night. We were looking for velvet worms but found this Huntsman Spider on the forest litter instead.
- Guarding her scoop of "ice-cream", this lady refused to budge from her nest.
- We first saw Heteropoda boiei in Sarawak, but were pleasantly surprised to see it in some places in Singapore.
- A Lichen Huntsman Spider (Pandercetes sp.) after a moult.
- Heteropoda devours a large cockroach. It is perched higher due to the size of the prey.
- Hauntingly beautiful Thelcticopis that we found on Pulau Ubin.
- First sighting of cannibalism in Huntsman Spiders. Wonder if that was the male?
- This Huntsman Spider sports a deep tone of red!
- Tried taking pictures of spiders dangling on safety lines. The results were quite pleasing with a translucent effect. Especially stunning for hairier huntsman spiders!
- Probably seen as a piece of debris dangling from leaves, the entire bunch of spiderlings have cute patches of red on their carapace, paired beautifully with bright green legs. The mother of course, stands guard on the right looking on at her brats.
- Probably Hamadruas, one of the larger Lynx Spiders.
- Never got to figure this out. My wife found this when we were in Cambodia, stunning but tiny!
- A punk Lynx sporting a mohawk.
- The Peucetia seems to be one of the largest lynx spiders around. This was in my wish list, and we found it near to our restaurant in Cambodia after lunch. With legs outstretched, this adult male could measure 2 inches long!
- This Rhene has a uniquely flat-topped carapace from the anterior view. It is also my model for the article on Ethics in Macro Photography which I wrote this year.
- Always a favorite, the Heavy Jumper (Hyllus sp.) is one of the most popular and easy-to-shoot Salticids in Singapore. Not skittish, slow moving, and large!
- Found this Mr Eyebrow while I was in Bali for holiday. Some called this Groucho Marx. Some called it Sam the Eagle from Muppets.
- Siler is one of the most colourful Salticids in this region!
- This made it here for the cute innocent looking eyebrows.
- Another Hyllus. Chris called it the gentle giant.
- Another colourful one!
- One of my macro workshop attendees found this lovely Hyllus with green eyes.
- An ant-mimick but with interesting tones on the face, as if it used eye shadow.
- Up close with another Hyllus
- One of the cutest faces of 2013! Classic OMG look.
- Cannibalism, although they belong to different genera.
- Yet another Hyllus, clearly a very sought-after subject!
- The orchestra conductor, busily mimicking an ant.
- Cute Wide-Jawed Viciria spiderlings.
- Wide-Jawed Viciria (Viciria praemandibularis) spotted eating her own eggs. Must've been stressed by our presence. :(
- Heavy Jumper (Hyllus sp.), one of my favorite compositions this year.
- Gea or Cyclosa? This orb web spider decorates its web with debris which looked like prey carcasses.
- An Argiope busily spinning her egg sac. Look at all the silk!
- Scarlet Acusilas Spider (Acusilas coccineus) with pearly babies.
- Stunningly patterned Scorpion-Tailed Spider (Arachnura logio)
- The classic Spiny Back Orb Weaver (Macracantha arcuata), probably the longest horns amongst all spiny spiders.
- Documenting the tent web of a Beccari's Tent Spider (Cyrtophora beccarii)
- Tree Stump Orb Weaver (Poltys sp.) demonstrating her camouflage.
- Scorpion-Tailed Spider (Arachnura sp.) guarding her egg sacs.
- Paraplectana with a uniformly rich yellow colour.
- Just for fun, comparing the dorsal view of a Kidney Garden Spider (Araneus mitificus) with the Pringles logo.
- Cyclosa insulana perched in the middle of its orb web.
- Spiny Orb Weaver (Gasteracantha dalyi), not as long as M. arcuata but still significantly longer horns than others!
- Another Tree Stump Orb Weaver (Cyphalonotus sp.) demonstrating its camouflage abilities.
- "V"! Spotted on Victor's birthday. :P
- Another Argiope with her "egg yolk". Look closely to see the details of the tiny eggs!
- Another Paraplectana which is thought to be new to science.
- This Big-Headed Bark Spider (Caerostris sp.) was in my wish list for a long time. Not an adult yet but still a lovely specimen!
- Second Big-Headed Bark Spider (Caerostris sp.) sighting, each got more exciting than the next!
- Mother of all Big-Headed Bark Spiders, with a demonic look when illuminated under ultraviolet!!
- Quite a few Eight-Spotted Crab Spider (Platythomisus octomaculatus) sightings this year. Managed to take a picture of the "8th spot"!
- A chance sighting of the Eight-Spotted Crab Spider (Platythomisus octomaculatus) while we were shooting the milky way!
- The Eight-Spotted Crab Spiderling (Platythomisus octomaculatus) popped out a few weeks later. No spots yet!
- Bird-Dropping Crab Spider, keeps prey under white patches of silk to mimic bird dropping as well!
- Bizarre looking Crab Spider found during one of our night shoots.
- Another interesting looking Crab Spider with a nice tone of green.
- A tiny Chrysso moulting
- A male kleptoparasite, Argyrodes lives on the webs of other spiders to feast on their prey.
- My most stolen photo of the year. I called it the Comb-Footed Mirror Spider (Thwaitesia sp.) and it was published on several news sites and magazines.
- Largest Theridiid I have ever seen. This Twig Spider (Ariamnes sp.) easily measured 2 inches long when stretched completely.
- Face to face with an Ant-Like Sac Spider (Teutamus sp.)
- Long-Legged Sac Spider (Miturgidae) feasting on a caterpillar
- Spiny Ant-Like Sac Spider (Echinax sp.) which doesn't look like a corinnid at all at first glance.
- Just how many legs does this Brush-Footed Trapdoor Spider (Barychelidae) have? The palps are as thick as the legs and are often mistaken to be the 9th and 10th legs.
- Close up on the foot of a Tarantula, such beautiful patterns!
- Found this Tarantula (Theraphosidae) clinging onto her egg sac in the open.
- An immature Tube Trapdoor Spider (Nemesiidae)
- Found this Tube Trapdoor Spider (Nemesiidae) in Nikoi Island.
- Messed around with the leaf litter and found this Brush-Footed Trapdoor Spider (Barychelidae)
- Sometimes, the subjects got angry with us. Tarantula with a threat display.
- Common for Tarantulas to be infested with mites, especially between the chelicerae.
- Initially thought to be a tarantula, this blue Brush-Footed Trapdoor Spider (Barychelidae) was found resting in a drain, probably looking for a mate.
- Wall Spider (Oecobiidae). Where else, but found in my home!
- Made a special trip to the shore to shoot this Intertidal Spider (Desis sp.). Mega large fangs!
- Psechrid Spider (Psechridae)
- Daddy Long Legs Spider (Uthina luzonica) with one of the largest egg sacs I've ever seen on a Pholcid.
- The elusive blue Wolf Spider (Lycosidae) taking a break at the edge of a dead leaf.
- Cannibalism of the Wolf Spider (Lycosidae), not sure if that was the male or her spiderling?
- Nursery Web Spider with her spiderlings
- Big-Jawed Spider (Mesida sp.) with the metallic abdomen.
- Wandering Spider (Ctenidae) with a bluish tone, quite small for a Ctenid.
- Daddy-Long-Legs Spider (Pholcidae), where the spiderlings were ready to hatch at any moment!
- Close up on a Velvet Mite (Trombidiidae)
- Long-Legged Velvet Mite (Erythraeidae), different family from the one above!
- Crazy excavator-like Harvestman (Opiliones)
- Pseudoscorpion clinging onto Longhorn Beetle (Cerambycidae), hoping for a free ride
- Harvestman (Sandokanidae) moves at slow motion and likes to play dead when disturbed.
- Taillless Whip Scorpion (Amblypygi) which my wife found in the shower when we were in Bali.
- Fat little baby Scorpions!! (Lychas scutilus)
- Shake hands with this Scorpion (Liocheles australasiae?) will ya?
- Harvestman with live prey
- Harvestman feasting on fungus (thought to be more common than live prey)
- The Leafhopper (Cicadellidae) is supposed to be really common, but a green one isn't!
- This Leaf Footed Bug (Coreidae) happens to be my blog header now. :)
- Mating pair of common Leafhoppers (Cicadellidae)
- Ultraman reborn in the form of a Treehopper (Membracidae)
- A pair of Derbid Planthoppers (Derbidae) "sparring"
- These Planthoppers seem to always come in rich colour tones!
- Leafhopper nymph (Selenocephalinae) with 2 bizarre hairy tails
- Derbid Planthopper (Derbidae) with a mite on its back
- Family of Planthoppers!
- Moth-like Planthopper (Ricaniidae) fresh from moult
- Eurybrachyid Planthopper (Ancyra sp.) which Dani found when we were in Cambodia.
- A red Derbid Planthopper (Derbidae)
- Blue-green Planthopper (Penthicodes bimaculata)
- Derbid Planthopper (Otiocerus sp.)
- Issid Planthopper?
- Yes, another family of Planthoppers
- Moth-Like Planthopper (Ricaniidae) coming in matcha flavor
- Planthopper nymph (Fulgoromorpha) displaying an explosive butt (or fireworks for the new year)
- Water Stick Insects (Ranatra sp.) mating underwater
- Ant-Snatching Assassin Bug (Acanthaspis sp.) with the largest mountain of carcasses I've ever seen on its back!
- Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs? (Halyomorpha halys?) cuddling together
- Scale Insect? (Coccoidea) One of the interesting discoveries of the year. Will certainly keep an eye for these next time!
- Longhorn Beetles (Chlorophorus annularis) that I found while I was cycling in Bali.
- Tortoise Beetle (Cassidinae) saying bye bye to me.
- Stag Beetle (Lucanidae), really tiny one!
- Darkling Beetle? (Tenebrionidae). We called it the "oil-spill" beetle. :P
- Close up of Mango Longhorn Beetle (Batocera rubus)
- Darkling Beetle (Platydema sp.) which shows up green only under the flash
- Mating beetles oblivious to the crowd around them.
- Rove Beetle (Neopinophilus sp.), some may have a potent chemical defence so we were quite wary of it.
- Another "oil-spill" Darkling Beetle (Tenebrionidae)
- Straight-Snouted Weevil (Brentidae) getting ready to escape!
- Cute Darkling Beetle with bunny-like "ears"
- Mole Cricket (Gryllotalpidae), unfortunately this one was injured when we found it
- Katydid moulting (Tettigoniidae)
- Forest Leaf Grasshopper (Systella rafflesii) with back-lighting
- Spot the Forest Leaf Grasshopper! Click on the photo for the answer.
- Cute little Monkey Grasshopper (Erianthus versicolor) found in Cambodia.
- First time seeing a Predatory Katydid (Hexacentrus unicolor) in action
- Katydid nymph (Phaneropterinae) with a pinkish head.
- Soldier Fly (Stratiomyidae) with the patterned compound eyes
- Lacewing eggs, looks like they have hatched!
- Owlfly larva (Ascalaphidae) from the leaf litter, with back-lighting
- Lacewing (Chrysopidae) with potential numbers on the wings (for 4D)
- Robberfly (Asilidae) with prey
- Robberfly (Asilidae) with captured Long-legged fly (Dolichopodidae)
- Super cute Big-Headed Fly (Pipunculidae)
- Crane Fly (Tipulidae) taking a break from all the break-dancing. It quivers rapidly to make itself less visible to potential predators.
- Midge (Chironomidae) with plumose antennae.
- Mayfly (Ephemeroptera). Wonder why it always seems to be looking at the sky?
- Ant (Myrmicaria sp.) grooming the queen?
- Armored Ant (Cataulacus sp.) looked like any other ant if not observed closely enough.
- Scoliid Wasp (Scoliidae), lots of them in Nikoi Island.
- Mantis Parasitic Wasp (Podagrion sp.) ovipositing into a mantis ootheca.
- Cuckoo Wasp (Chrysididae), easily the most beautiful wasp here.
- Ensign Wasp (Evania appendigaster) preys on cockroaches.
- Crown Wasp ovipositing (Stephanidae)
- Sweat Bees sleeping (Halictidae)
- Forest Ant (Camponotus gigas), one of the rare moments where it stopped for me to shoot.
- Big-Headed Termite
- Armored Cockroach (Catara rugosicollis) gives off a weird smell.. really weird.
- Winged Termites (Termitoidae) marching in unison.
- Cockroach (Blattodea) doing a "Darth Vader".
- Caterpillars which reminded me of gummi worms...
- Puppy Moth found at night in Nikoi Island.
- Skull-Faced Caterpillar
- Back-lit Caterpillar which looked like it was struck by a hundred arrows
- Another back-lit Caterpillar to highlight the hairs
- Hawk Moth Caterpillar
- Dragonfly (Anisoptera)
- Dragonfly nymph.. underwater!
- Moss Mantis (Ceratohaania sp.?), incredibly camouflaged when walking on mossy surfaces.
- Boxer Mantis nymph (Hestiasula sp.) with crazy spikes on the abdomen.
- Majestic Dead Leaf Mantis (Deroplatys sp.)
- Dead Leaf Mantis (Deroplatys sp.) with back-lighting
- Flower Mantis nymph (Hymenopodidae?) looking shy...
- Lovely pair of Stick Insects (Phasmatodea) mating. Looked very dull initially but turned out quite nice!
- Face to face with a Stick Insect (Haaniella sp.)
- Centipede moulting (Scolopendra sp.) posing with its ex-claws.
- Millipedes (Diplopoda) mating
- House Centipede (Scutigeridae), face to face!
- House Centipede (Scutigeridae) moulting. Rare to see it purple! Turns brown when the exoskeleton hardens.
- Pill Millipede (Sphaerotheriida) struggling to unroll and get moving.
- Velvet Worm (Eoperipatus sumatranus?) looking as if it was ready to sing.
- Velvet Worm (Eoperipatus sumatranus?) with cute knobbly legs.
- Happy Birthday Singapore! A tribute to the country where most of the macro shots on this blog took place in.
- Springtail (Neanurinae) at 1+mm
- Earwig (Dermaptera), another commonly ignored subject.
- Striped Kukri Snake (Oligodon octolineatus)
- Larut Torrent Frog (Amolops larutensis) on Hose's Frog (Odorrana hosii)
- Reticulated Python (Broghammerus reticulatus) which appeared after the drains flooded from the rain.
- Reticulated Python (Broghammerus reticulatus)
- Crested Lizard (Agamidae)
- Wagler's Pit Viper (Tropidolaemus wagleri), probably a juvenile
- Bioluminescent Fungi (Filoboletus manipularis?)
- Bioluminescent Fungi (Filoboletus manipularis?)
- Lunula Huntsman Spider (Heteropoda lunula)
- Stick Insect (Phasmatodea)
- Tarantula threatening to destroy my lens
- Huntsman Spider (Gnathopalystes sp.). The long exposure allowed the struggling prey to appear with motion blur.
- Katydid in Ultraviolet (Tettigoniidae) reveals crazy vein patterns.
- Stick Insect under Ultraviolet (Phasmatodea)
- Paraplectana sp. which many called the one-up spider. (recall Super Mario?)
- Crab Spider (Thomisidae)
- Crab Spider (Tmarus sp.)
- Bird Dung Spider (Pasilobus sp.), looking like a precious stone.
- Harvestman (Opiliones)
- Scorpion (Liocheles australasiae?)
- Harvestman (Opiliones) under UV light
- Fungus Weevil (Anthribidae) with only the eyes fluorescing
- Millipede under UV light (Diplopoda)
- Macro Photography Workshop Poster
- Students from one of my macro photography workshops
Sparassidae - Huntsman SpidersThe most commonly shot spider at night. Easily spotted because of their size, although some may be mature at less than 1cm!
Oxyopidae - Lynx SpidersSlightly smaller hunting spiders, but often overlooked as they really looked too... common!
Salticidae - Jumping SpidersThe permanently shocked looks in this family of spiders deserve a gallery of their own.
Araneidae - Orb Web SpidersThis mega family appears to be the most diverse in morphology. Despite the given common name, many do not actually weave orb webs, don't be confused!
Thomisidae - Crab SpidersCommon ambush spider but there are MANY lesser seen species around!
Theridiidae - Comb-Footed SpidersTiny little spiders that usually make their home under leaves.
Clubionidae, Corinnidae, Liocranidae, Miturgidae - Sac SpidersSomehow all of these got to be called Sac Spiders.
Mygalomorphae - Tarantulas, Trapdoor Spiders, etc.These larger spiders live in burrows and rarely come out from their homes.
Other SpidersOther families which may be common, but deserve a mention somehow! :P
Arachnida - Scorpions, Harvestmen, Whip Scorpions, Tailless Whip Scorpions, Mites, Ticks, PseudoscorpionsMany other arachnids other than spiders!
Hemiptera - BugsBugs... my wife calls my group the bug people. But we really shoot more than this beautiful order!
Coleoptera - BeetlesLooking up close at some beetles often reveal a lot of unexpected details!
Orthopetera - Grasshoppers, Crickets, KatydidsTo the layman, most just called them grasshoppers.
Diptera, Neuroptera, Ephemeroptera - FliesThey fly. Really fast.
Hymenoptera - Ants, Bees, WaspsSubjects that bite or sting and don't really like me. Ok ok... not all bite or sting. :P
Blattodea - Cockroaches, TermitesNot the favorite order as they are often viewed as pests.
Lepidoptera - Butterflies, Moths and their larvaBecause 90% of my shoots were at night, we hardly take pictures of butterflies now.
Odonata - Dragonflies, DamselfliesOn the lookout for these beauties in morning dew!
Mantodea - Praying MantisesShowcasing some of the more interesting ones we spotted this year!
Phasmatodea - Stick InsectsLots of stick insects in Singapore, but they are also the most difficult subjects to create a beautiful photograph with.
Myriapoda - Centipedes, MillipedesThese many-legged subjects are abundant in our forests. But which ones captured our eyes?
Onychophora - Velvet WormsOnly know of 1 species in Singapore, but this crazy worm deserves a category of its own!
Other InsectsStill insects but in lesser known orders.
Amphibians, Reptiles - Frogs, Snakes, LizardsUsually larger but often spotted in our jungle journeys. Will just document whatever we see!!
PlantsInanimate subjects often capture our attention as well.
Wide Angle MacroI experimented with a few wide angle lenses, and eventually settled on one lens to bring to capture slightly larger subjects - the Sigma 15mm F/2.8 Fisheye. It is small, and has a very short working distance.
Ultraviolet MacroI bought countless ultraviolet lights this year to experiment on, and eventually settled on the 365nm range of lights. The results were much more pleasant than the 395nm range of ultraviolet torches. This year, we found that scorpions were not the only arthropods that fluoresce under ultraviolet! I will write a separate post soon on how these photos were taken.
Last but not least, I had this macro photography poster done up with the help of my wife. :)