Cactus Fly

Cactus Fly - Telostylus sp.

I found this Cactus Fly belonging to Telostylus species. This single fly was a tough one to capture as it used to disappear behind leaves as soon as its big eyes spotted my camera. I had to wait for it to reappear and disappear again. We both were playing hide and seek in the process. … Read more

Kavaledurga

Gate with Guard Room

Kavaledurga Fort is a slice of forgotten history amidst the Western Ghats. The Fort is a marvellous piece of engineering that includes complex defences and arrangements for rainwater harvesting. I had been to this fort several times. One of the most memorable trips was when my good friend Ashokavardhana and I purchased a new Honda … Read more

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

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