WPY 2010

Photograph Details

Highly commended 2010

Behaviour: All Other Animals

David Herasimtschuk, United States of America

In the eye of a tapir

Many nights spent hiking to swamps and lakes in Ecuador in search of frogs (his research subject) have revealed to David countless new animals and behaviours. Particularly fascinating are the lachryphagous (eye-frequenting) moths. The tapir that this moth is drinking from had been rescued as a baby and released back into the wild. So it was used to humans and allowed David to follow it through the forest. 'Whenever it stopped to eat or rest,' he says, 'as many as five or six moths would settle around an eye.' These moths have evolved to feed on secretions from mammal eyes and, in this case, may even prefer to drink from the eyes of tapirs.

Technical specification

Canon EOS 5D + EF 17-40mm f4 lens; 1/40 sec at f13; ISO 400; Speedlite 580EX flash + transmitter ST-E2.


Yasuni Research Station, Orellana, Ecuador: latitude -0.689639, longitude -76.432945 Yasuni Research Station, Orellana, Ecuador: latitude -0.689639, longitude -76.432945

Yasuni Research Station, Orellana, Ecuador


David Herasimtschuk, United States of America