WPY 2011

Photograph Details

Highly commended 2011

Behaviour: All Other Animals

András Mészáros, Hungary

Love under the lens

A new macro lens has opened up another world for András. 'Since I've had it, I use every opportunity to catch a glimpse of the lives of tiny insects,' he says. When he found these two snail-killing flies, each little more than half a centimetre long, mating on a grass stem, what struck him was not only 'their beautiful markings but also the female's seeming attitude of surprise to find another insect on her back.' Little is known about the lifestyle of this particular Central European species, but it almost certainly behaves like its close relatives, either laying its eggs on leaves in the vicinity of snails or directly onto snail shells. The resulting larvae then feed on snails, possibly even pupating in their shells.

Technical specification

Canon EOS 5D + MP-E 65mm lens + extension tube + mirror lock-up; 1/200 sec at f10; ISO 200; Canon MT-24EX twin flash; Manfrotto ballhead; Gitzo tripod.

Gárdony, Hungary: latitude 47.1965, longitude 18.6115 Gárdony, Hungary: latitude 47.1965, longitude 18.6115

Gárdony, Hungary

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