WPY 2012

Photograph Details

Commended 2012

Behaviour: Cold-Blooded Animals

Klaus Tamm, Germany

Sizing up

A scattering of gecko droppings on the sunny veranda of Klaus’s holiday apartment near Etang-Sale-les-Hauts, on the French island of Réunion, had attracted some unusual-looking insects. They were neriid long-legged flies. Klaus settled down with his camera to watch as they interacted. ‘Every so often, a couple of males would take a break from feeding and engage in a kind of combat dance that involved spinning around each other,’ he says. ‘They would finish by stretching up to their full one and a half centimetres, then pushing with their mouthparts, shoulders and forelegs until one gained height, before flying away or mating with nearby females. I was so impressed by the harmony in the combat dance that I ended up photographing them for several hours.’

Technical specification

Canon 5D Mark II + 100mm lens; 1/250 sec at f3.2 (+ 0.75 e/v); ISO 800.

Etang-Sale-les-Hauts, Reunion: latitude -21.2498, longitude 55.3697 Etang-Sale-les-Hauts, Reunion: latitude -21.2498, longitude 55.3697

Etang-Sale-les-Hauts, Reunion

Intellectual property rights to all WPY images are retained by the photographers. Reproduction without prior written consent constitutes an actionable infringement. For usage enquiries please contact us.

Sign up to receive emails from the Natural History Museum about events and exhibitions, including Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

Klaus Tamm, Germany

Klaus has been interested in nature since he was a child. He tries to make the observer pause for a moment and reflect on his images. Klaus’s photography excursions have taken him to remote regions of Norway, Sweden, Finland, Bulgaria, Romania and Spain, as well as South Africa, South America and the Falkland Islands.

  • Realm of the condor
  • Wings of summer
  • Meadow canvas