Readers’ wildlife photographs

Here are some gorgeous pictures I’ve shamelessly swiped (with permission) from the Facebook page of biologist/naturalist/photographer Piotr Naskrecki, who’s been spending a lot of time in Mozambique. His photography webpage is here; and the captions below (indented) are all his:

And now, for a change, something that we can all agree on – isn’t it the most beautiful grasshopper that you have ever seen? (Monachidium lunum from Guyana.) [JAC: Given its coloration, this must be toxic or somehow noxious.]

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This beautiful grasshopper (Aiolopus thalassinus) is commonly found in Gorongosa National Park and most of Africa. But this photo was not taken there, it was taken in Poland, where until recently it was a rare animal, restricted to a few small populations in the warmest parts of the country. Now it is common everywhere and is steadily moving North. If there ever was any doubt in my mind about the reality of the global climate change, it is gone now.

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I call this one, “Two ladies at the bar.” (Dolichoderus ants drinking honeydew from tiny aphids at the tip of a vine leaf in Cambodia.)

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The African peach moth (Egybolis valliantina), a beautiful, diurnal species, that can be seen flying in Gorongosa National Park almost throughout the entire year. Its bright coloration is a sure sign of the toxic properties of its body.

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Some termite species build elaborate “launching pads” for the emerging winged reproductives. I had no idea why they did that until I witnessed voracious Pachycondyla ants trying to snatch the alates emerging from a colony of Amitermes in Gorongosa National Park. Within a few seconds all workers and alates disappeared underground, leaving behind the soldiers, who repelled the ants.

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It’s the end of August, which means it’s time for Village weavers [(Ploceus cucullatus)] to build their nests in Gorongosa National Park.

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12 Comments

  1. Posted September 24, 2016 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Truly amazing series of photos, got to reblog your post.

  2. Posted September 24, 2016 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Reblogged this on My Garden Biodiversity and commented:
    Amazing arthropods and a weaver bird.

  3. Flemur
    Posted September 24, 2016 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    isn’t it the most beautiful grasshopper that you have ever seen?

    Yes!

    There’s a similar looking (black w/yellow) but less spectacular large grasshopper in the SW US, the “horse lubber”: Xhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taeniopoda_eques
    (remove ‘X’).

  4. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted September 24, 2016 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    I consider Piotr to be one of the truly great macrophotographers out there, and we see that on fine display here. Simply superb.

  5. W.Benson
    Posted September 24, 2016 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    There is no sign of aphids in the ant photo. Could it be the ants are feeding on secretions on the leaf tip? Ants can clean plants of harmful insects, and many plants have evolved specialized glands on leaves and elsewhere that lure ant mutualists with sugar secretions.

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted September 24, 2016 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      I think you are right. Unless aphids ‘R invisible.

  6. Jenny Haniver
    Posted September 24, 2016 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Wow! These are superb. And that is surely the most beautiful grasshopper. Hope the two ladies at the bar were able to imbibe their full.

  7. Posted September 24, 2016 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    A quick Google search tells me that Pachycondyla are found only in the neotropics, but Gorongosa National Park is in Mozambique. Have the ants been misidentified, or is Wikipedia lying to me?

  8. Posted September 24, 2016 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Forget Intelligent Design, how about Crazed Stoner Genius Design. There’s much better evidence for such a Being.

    • Mark R.
      Posted September 24, 2016 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      hahahaha Love it!!!

  9. Mark R.
    Posted September 24, 2016 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Now it is common everywhere and is steadily moving North. If there ever was any doubt in my mind about the reality of the global climate change, it is gone now.

    I’ve lived in the Washington state on and off for over 25 years. I’ve never seen a grasshopper up here until this Summer; now I see them everywhere. I know they live on the eastern side of the state…hot and dry, but the climate has them migrating west it seems.

    Really spectacular photos. WOW!

  10. keith cook +/-
    Posted September 24, 2016 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    No doubt about it, Piotr Naskrecki is good yah!


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