Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Flora and fauna of the Bannerghatta (Shivanahalli) area

Visited the Shivanahalli area of Bannerghatta last weekend. The naturally maintained Ashram is a treat! The thick canopy creates a micro-climate of it's own.

Ismail and Vipin managed the permits. Harshith, Ismail and I spent a good 5-6 hours exploring the campus and the "man-made" forest. Thanks to Murali for the warm hospitality.

Like Thomas Fuller said - "He that plants trees loves others beside himself". What a brilliant living example we got to experience

Some of the images in an easy to view format in the video below

Until the next one.



Thursday, September 12, 2019

Exploring Valparai

Had a quick, last-minute visit to Valparai. The long weekend ensured the bus ticket prices were sky high and the jams on Hosur road really long.

Managed to make up for some lost time by taking hiring a cab from Pollachi. Couldn't get to see the Nilgiri Tahr or the famed Leopards, well that'd be for next time.

Thanks to Raju sir for the wonderful hospitality and Pavan for the company, a thoroughly enjoyable trip!

Here's a quick video slideshow of the sights and images from Valparai...

Till the next one..

Monday, July 29, 2019

Quenching the macro thirst!

Hadn't shot macro the whole month, managed a productive session with some interesting finds. Some images from exploring the Bangalore University area

A hairy Pentatomid
A pretty pentatomid

Adapted to both dry and green patches!
Grasshopper, dual tones

A cute looking Carrhotus female
Carrhotus! as cute as a button

Carrhotus male(?)

Shield bug, with the blue sky providing some contrast
Shield bug

9/10 times one would've walked right past this perfectly aligned caterpillar
Cryptic caterpillar

Mating chafer beetles
Mating Chafer beetles

An Ichneumonidae wasp with a stunning, long ovipositor
Ichneumon wasp

A handsome looking Tachinid fly
Handsome tachinid fly

Stunning coloration on this nymph
Little clown grasshopper..Mother nature sure went crazy on this grasshopper with colors!

Deaths head hawk moth, those wings surely hold many galaxies within!
Deaths head hawk moth, Sphingidae

Deaths head hawk moth, Sphingidae. Close-up

Geometridae moth caterpillar

Got lucky with this find, they hadn't even darkened yet
Freshly hatched Owlfly larvae

Freshly hatched Owlfly larvae

Just as we were trudging back (was a rather humid day!), we found this fascinating scene - the Robberfly which is an apex predator of the aerial world falling prey to the super-agile Hyllus (Jumping spider) female..that meal will definitely help her with making her silken nest/egg sac
Predating on the predator! Hyllus with robberfly kill

All shot on the Olympus OMD EM10 M2, 60mm macro and Godox TT 350O with DIY diffuser.

Thanks to Pavan, Naveen, Pradeep, Sushvin for the company. Amit was kind enough to share this diverse location and help us explore :)


Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Revisiting Agumbe with Photowalk Bengaluru

Got an opportunity to go back to experience the monsoons at Agumbe, this time with Photowalk Bengaluru as a Macro mentor.
Always a pleasure returning to Hingaara, with the warm hospitality, amazing food and rich biodiversity.   

A quick compilation of select images for your viewing pleasure :)

Till the next ride!


Monday, June 17, 2019

Springing back to life! The transition from Summer to Monsoon

Summer this time was particularly harsh. Also noticed a marked decrease in insect/activity.

The dry surroundings with their own adaptations

A gorgeous stick insect
Stick insect, Phasmidae

The striking boxer mantis
Boxer mantis

Sleeping blue-banded bee
Sleeping blue-banded bee

The ants rule the roost
Weaver ants carrying back a dead stink bug

This wonderful seed-pod of an Indian kino tree, the root-like structure within representative of the power and promise of life

An amazingly camouflaged Plataspidae nymph
As flat as one can be! A pentatomidae - Plataspidae nymph

An un-ID'ed Salticidae
ID unknown, Salticid

The transition of summer to onset of monsoon..greens begin to emerge

Grasshopper, blend mode ON!

Non-biting midge,Chironomidae male with it's plumose antennae

A bark mantis
Bark mantis

The first drops being lapped up by this Ichneumon wasp
Wasp for ID

Fireflies out in numbers!
Leaf beetle, Chrysomelidae

Cicadas being their noisy best, after a long subterranean extistence
Cicada, likely Platypleura octoguttata

Leaf beetles seen in plenty
Leaf beetle, Chrysomelidae

The mites not letting go of the opportunity
Bugged by mites! A leaf beetle with mites

The rains also meant an increase in mosquito numbers, here's one sucking blood from my left hand. The proboscis and engorged abdomen turning red with blood.
Mosquito gorging itself on blood

With insect life bouncing back in good numbers, predators made the best of it

The two-tailed spider, Herisilia sp on the bark
Two-tailed spider, Hersilia sp with kill

This two-striped jumper, Telamonia sp female feasting on a blue bottlefly
Two striped jumper (Telamonia sp) female with a bluebottle fly kill

A Lynx spider, Peucetia sp predating on a mantis
Peucetia with a mantis kill

It's a spider-eat-spider world! A Rhene jumping spider predating on a Bomis sp crab spider
Rhene with a crab spider kill

Robberflies rule the aerial space
Robberfly with kill

Robberfly with kill

Keeping the mosquitos/midges in check
Robberfly with midge

Almost every perch/vantage point had a robberfly on it, truly the season!
Resting robberfly, head ON!

Robberfly close-up

The compound eyes which enables such high degree of precision
Compound eyes of the robberfly

The forest floor with the Tmarus snacking on an ant
Tmarus (?) crab spider with ant kill

This season also brings out some spiders rarely seen

The oh-so-colorful Chrysilla
Chrysilla sp, one of the most striking jumping spiders

Asemonea sp
Asemonea jumping spider

Cyrba sp, saw this striking little beauty for the very first time!
Cyrba sp - a Stunning little jumping spider

A curled-up millipede showing how nature works with classic design
The Fibonacci spiral! Rolled up millipede

A lot of arthropod life-cycle revolves around reproduction, fascinating to watch the life stages

Single egg of a common emigrant butterfly
Common emigrant butterfly egg

A caterpillar ready to pupate
Ready to pupate - backlit

But nature had sinister plans, this was affected with a virus known as the "Black death". This caterpillar will not pupate successfully
Ready for pupation, but infected - Black death

A rarely seen caterpillar stage of the Double branded crow butterfly
Double branded crow caterpillar

A looper caterpillar of the Geometrid moth
Looper! Geometridae moth caterpillar

Pupating ladybird larva
Ladybird pupa

A weaver ant queen looking at expanding the colony
Weaver ant queen

Owlfly larvae with those intimidating mandibles
Owlfly larvae

An Ammophila sp wasp carrying back a paralyzed caterpillar to lay eggs inside and bury it. What a welcome gift to the progeny!
Ammophila wasp carrying back a caterpillar to lay eggs and bury!

A Brettus sp jumping spider with her spiderlings
Brettus mom with her spiderlings

Got lucky with this full life-cycle of Coreidae (shield bugs)

Hatched coreidae eggs, the patterns and symmetry is amazing!

Coreidae eggs

Freshly hatched nymphs
Freshly hatched Coreidae nymphs

Coreidae nymphs

The multi hue/colors indicate how recently the nymph has moulted. Red is recent, green/yellow is older..how cool!
Coreidae nymphs

Hope you enjoyed these, it was fascinating and amazing to me, no matter how many times I experience this..oh, the wonders of nature!

Adios till the next one.