A Tale of Two Wasps

Frank Deschandol's Image

Frank chose a wasp burrow out of direct sunshine so as not to let too much light into his camera. He then set up an infrared beam, which, when broken by a wasp, triggered a very fast shutter system. In this perfectly balanced composition, Frank captured not one, but two, of the small subjects – the wasp on the right measuring only six millimetres.

These two wasps have very different approaches to laying their eggs. The cuckoo wasp (right) lays its eggs in the burrows of solitary digger wasps. When its young hatch, they feed on their host’s egg or larva and then the food store. The redbanded sand wasp (left) lays eggs in its own burrow, supplying a caterpillar for each of its young to eat.

Behind the lens

Frank Deschandol

Frank Deschandol


Frank is a professional photographer who specialises in high-speed photography and diffused-lighting macro techniques using flashes and diffusers. His focus is in spectacular and little-known reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates. His goal is to show the beauty of animals with simplicity - without significant post-processing and in their natural environment, reducing disturbance.

Image details

  • Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • 100mm f2.8 lens
  • 5 sec at f13  •   ISO 160  •   high-speed shutter system  •   six wireless flashes + Fresnel lenses + trigger  •   IR sensor + amp  •   Novoflex MagicBalance + tripod
Copyright in WPY competition photographs remains the property of the respective photographers. You may not copy, share, reproduce or republish the photographs except as expressly permitted by copyright law. For media image usage enquiries, please contact us.

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