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Thread: Ant-Aphid Mutualism

  1. #1
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    Default Ant-Aphid Mutualism

    Ghost ants (Tapinoma melanocephalum) and aphids living together on an eggplant in my garden. The cornicles (tail-like structures) of the aphids produce a sweet liquid called 'honeydew'. The ants harvest the honeydew, and in return protect the aphids from predators.

    Canon 500D, Canon 100mm Macro USM
    Aperture-Priority AE
    Tv 1/400
    Av 8.0
    EC -1/3
    ISO 1600
    Pano crop.
    Couldn't include all the ants at this magnification, so had to cut a few near the edges.


    Thanks, C&C awaited.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    The back lit leaf gives a nice look to the image. Never knew about this behavior. The smaller ones are the baby aphids? Thanks for sharing.
    Regards,
    Mrudul Godbole

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    Hi Abhishek. Lovely image. I like the backlit greens with the outlines of the aphids and the ants. Looks lovely. Inspired from the BBC WPOTY 2010 winning image.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Regards,
    Bibhav Behera
    www.bibhavbehera.com

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    Great shot.. Nice comp..and Details ,I like the back lit leaf too.. nice one.

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    Thanks everyone.
    Mrudul: Not sure about the small ones. Dont know whether they are babies or a different morph of adult aphids. Aphids have a very complex life cycle, I am yet to understand the basics of it.

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    Lovely. The backlighting lifts this image to another level. As Bibhav has mentioned, this reminded me about the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2010 image.

    This image also tells us that a good image can be created even in a garden. You just need to have an eye to see and visualise it.

    I feel moving the camera a bit to the left would have been good as that would have reduced the slight empty space at the bottom right corner.

    I think buying the 100mm macro is pushing you to learn more and more about the macro world, which I guess is your major interest area. I think your first post was a kingfisher image. You have come a long way since your first post. Keep it up. Keep learning and sharing the images and the interesting information.

    Cheers,
    Sabyasachi

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    Thanks Sabyasachi. Cropping the original image, this was the best composition I could come up with. Will try to do better next time, I am sure the aphids won't go away soon.

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    Very nice abhishek.Agree with the comments below.A fine peice from the wonders of the natural world.Aphid ant mutalism is so complex that many aspects are totally unexplained and unbeliveble.

    TFS
    Roopak

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    Very well seen and executed. Love the backlight and the randomness

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