WPY 2016

Photograph Details

Finalist 2016

Reptiles, Amphibians and Fish

Cyril Ruoso, France

Puddle of procreation

In a shallow pool – tinted brown by tannin from rotting leaves – a gang of male common frogs were poised for action. ‘As soon as a female jumped in,’ says Cyril, ‘they went crazy, desperate to be the lucky one’. As light shone through the spheres of spawn, a familiar scene transformed into an alien world.

Powered by muscular limbs and webbed hind feet, males will fight to clasp a female. The lucky male will hang on using dark pads on its thumbs until she releases up to 2,000 jelly-cased eggs to be fertilised. Emerging tadpoles metamorphosise into froglets over 10–15 weeks developing lungs to breathe air.

Technical specification

Canon EOS 5D; 14mm f2.8 lens; 1/20 sec at f16; ISO 200; Ikelite housing; two Ikelite DS160 strobes; remote shutter release.

Yonne, Burgundy, France: latitude 47.054443, longitude 4.376733 Yonne, Burgundy, France: latitude 47.054443, longitude 4.376733

Yonne, Burgundy, France

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Cyril Ruoso

Cyril Ruoso, France

Cyril has travelled the world in search of stories for 20 years. His first encounter with the Borneo orangutan influenced his work by giving pride of place to primates. He also focuses on species too often considered trivial - this is the idea behind the project "Planet Frog".

  • Cold embrace
  • Tiny warm-up
  • Newt style