Sunday, October 17, 2010

Danum Valley - Part II

More wonderful arthropods from Danum Valley. If you missed the first part and the introduction to Danum Valley, plus all the big and lovely wildlife like sambar deer, Orang Utan, you can check it out here.

Except for the lantern bugs and mantis images, all were shot with a 40D, MPE65 and MT24EX with DIY concave diffuser.

The amazing lantern bug Pyrops whiteheadi from Danum Valley. Surely one of the best catches of the whole trip! You can also check out the other type of lantern bug - Laternaria ruhli i photographed in Endau Rompin.

Pyrops whiteheadi ........IMG_9578 copy

And of course, the prettiest Theopropus elegans I have ever seen, so far. She made the trip even more complete! LOL.
Theopropus elagans Asian Flower Mantis.....IMG_9310 copy

A long necked longhorn beetle: Gnoma subfasciata.  Never seen anything like this before!
Long necked longhorn beetle from Danum Valley IMG_9349 copy

Many of these red assassin bugs in Danum Valley. They were found either preying on other arthropods or mating :D. This one was preying on a beetle. Merged from two images because the subjects were too big for the MPE65.
red assassin bug preying on a beetle IMG_9221 copy

Another longhorn beetle: Borneochroma shutaea (Bentanachs & Foo 2008). Check out the amazing blue on it!
blue longhorn beetle from Danum Valley IMG_9181 copy

As predacious as those red assassin bugs are, sometimes they become prey themselves. This big and beautiful lynx spider caught one for lunch!
Lynx spider with assassin bug prey..IMG_9270 copy

Also found many of these nice looking shield bug, Pygoplatys sp. Also merged in CS3 from two images.
Pygoplatys sp shield bug from Danum Valley IMG_9101 pano copy

And those we didn't quite manage to capture :(. Oh well, I will get these shy lantern bugs that always stay so high up on trees someday! Heavily cropped because like I said, they were too high up on trees!
green lantern bug from Danum Valley IMG_9370 copy crop

That is it for the Danum Valley trip. I hope to make it to Maliau Basin next year!


  1. Absolutely astounding photographs!

    I think I can see evidence of the twin flash, but you diffusers make it almost impossible to tell - very nice. I presume all of these were taken with the MP-E65 - have you figured out a good flash diffuser combination for the 100mm macro? Many of the subjects I shoot are too large for the 65mm.

  2. Thanks Ted. All taken with the MPE65/MT24EX except for the lantern bugs and mantis shots.

    Diffuser for the MPE/MT24EX:

    For 1:1 and smaller mag, I've seen great result with DIY diffusers. I even made one snoot-diffuser like this:

    But i'd recommend that you put your speedlight on a flash bracket, diffused with a big diffuser. Refer to these "Macro Rig" threads in a few forums for ideas :)

  3. The same concave diffuser for the MPE65/MT24EX can work on the 100mm too. Just make a bigger version of it. A friend of mine DIYed one for his Sigma 150/SB900 (Nikon D90) combo :)

  4. Thanks, Kurt. If you didn't use the concave diffuser for the lantern bug and mantis shots, what did you use - the DIY snoot diffuser?

  5. Hi Ted, those were taken with the Sigma 150mm on tripod. All with Live View to avoid MLU vibration. Some with reflector to fill in light.

    Mantis shot: live view, 2sec timer
    Exposure 0.1 sec (1/10)
    Aperture f/11.0
    Focal Length 150 mm
    ISO Speed 200
    Exposure Bias 0 EV
    Flash Off, Did not fire

    Lantern bug: live view, 2sec timer,
    Exposure 1.6
    Aperture f/10.0
    Focal Length 150 mm
    ISO Speed 200
    Exposure Bias +1/3 EV
    Flash Off, Did not fire

  6. Ah, natural light - that makes sense now. Marvelous photographs.



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