Ant Farmer

Ant Sucking HoneyDew from Aphid

Who would consider ants farmers? Farmer is not a vocation naturally assigned to these tiny insects. The fact is that they herd and care for aphids to keep a much-loved food in constant supply. Aphids and ants on plants are as interdependent as Idli & sambar. I saw this Camponotus Ant on the underside of … Read more

Weaver Ants with Prey

Weaver Ants with Prey

I found these major workers of Weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina) hunting a nymph of a cockroach. As these nymphs grow they are compelled to moult their cuticle, a process known as Ecdysis. After moulting, an arthropod is described as teneral, a callow; it is fresh, pale and soft-bodied. They are pretty vulnerable to attack by … Read more

Stone Quarry at Phantom Rock

Stone Quarry at Phantom Rock

Last year I had gone to Sultan Bathery, Wayanad, Kerala, with my family, on holiday. Phantom Rock was one of the tourist destination we wanted to visit. Phantom Rock is about 13 km from Kalpetta adjacent to the Ambalavayal town. The rock has the shape of a skull and hence the name. Locally called ‘Thalappara’. … Read more

Huntsman on a Hunt

Male Huntsman Hunting Cockroach

Spiders are a far cry from the monsters people make them out to be. Spiders as a group consume more bugs than birds do. In our house, we enlist help from spiders, specifically Huntsman spiders (Heteropoda cf. venatoria) to keep our house as cockroach-free as possible. The male huntsman you see here was hunting a … Read more

Blue Mud Dauber

Blue Mud Dauber

I found a bunch of Blue Mud Dauber wasps in my garden sleeping on a dry vine. These Blue Mud Daubers, Chalybion bengalense are pretty common blue household wasps we encounter at home. Even though these are solitary wasps, males have a habit of sleeping in a group together. I was using my Canon EOS … Read more

Cattle Egret

Cattle Egret (Non Breeding plumage)

I found these cattle egrets (Bubulcus ibis) on a dry tree branch at Gurupura. They were all huddled together over a marshy land there. I wanted to create a dramatic contrast with dark background and a rim light for these white birds. It was 4PM with bright light all around. I had Canon EOS 5D … Read more