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Best Shots of 2012

Alex Wild (an insect photographer, blogger and myrmecologist) recently put out a call for people to show their best photos of 2012 for a post he’s writing at Scientific American. Here are 5 photos from 2012 that we are quite pleased with:

We took this shot at the Soltis Center in Costa Rica back in March. It’s a cool animal, but we chose this pic because the parasitism of tailless whipscorpion eggs is rarely documented and even more rarely photographed.  To learn more about it check out our blog post here.

During our trip to Costa Rica, we took some photos using a makeshift lightbox.  This Dynastes sp. beetle is one of four photos that turned out fairly well! It’s photoshopped a bit for white balance, and we’re still ironing out some lighting techniques and best practices. That being said, we’re very excited about more ‘insects on white’ shots.

This is not a great shot.  It’s not even a good shot!  But LOOK at it!  How incredible is this shot???  On the left, we’ve got a green katydid and on the right we’ve got a pink katydid.  Same species.  The brilliant pink is a result of a mutation called erythrism, an abnormal amount of reddish pigment or a lack of normal pigment. It’s really rare to see pink katydids.  We bet it’s even more rare to see one right next to a normal katydid.  We got some great video footage of these insects displaying behavioral camouflage, where they shake like leaves as they walk.  They did it while on these cement tiles at the Soltis Center. Pink and green and acting like leaves while on concrete.  It was awesome.

On that note, sometimes we take still shots from our video footage.  We use a great little HD camcorder from Canon and sometimes we look at the footage and are astounded by how great the images are. Here are a couple that we’ve used:

 It’s not an insect.  But we were in Costa Rica!  We had to film and photograph other animals. Still can’t believe this is a still frame from a camcorder.

This is a still shot of the chelicerae of our pet whip scorpion, commonly called a vinegaroon.  This shot shows off the terribly cool intersegmental membranes in the joints of the pedipalps.  We love the color of the setae on this arachnid as well. We used a Raynox Macro lens on our video camera to get this.  We had to get very close and Crusher (our vinegaroon) was not amused.

What will we shoot in 2013?  We can’t wait to find out.

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