Friday, May 24, 2013

Semachrysa jade in top 10 species 2013 list

Top 10 New Species 2013 is published by International Institute for Species Exploration (IISE), Arizona State University. The top ten were selected from more than 140 nominated species out of an estimated 18,000 species named last year.

My beautiful lacewing (Semachrysa jade Winterton & Guek & Brooks, 2012) is lucky to make it to the top 10!

More gorgeous Neuropterans of Malaysia here.

Semachrysa jade new lacewing species IMG_1663 copy

Semachrysa jade new lacewing species . - IMG_0155 merged copy

Semachrysa jade new lacewing species IMG_1630 copy
More about how I found the beautiful new species here.

The news release published by IISE on May 23, 2013 has since been picked up by many other websites:

And on this one, they called it a "butterfly" :D

Called a butterfly too in this site

All images were taken with Canon 40D, MP-E65, MT-24EX and concave diffuser.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Lowepro Photo Sport 200 AW

Lowepro Photo Sport 200 AW. AW stands for All Weather! Yes, there is a built-in rain cover. It comes in either orange or black. I like both colors but opted for black only because I don't want the bright orange color to scare away my macro/nature subjects.

The name suggests that this two-in-one rucksack/backpack is designed for the athlete who loves photography. Now you don't have to leave your DSLR at home while you go for physically challenging activities like mountain-biking, trekking/hiking, skiing, snowboarding, etc.

Some technical specification from Lowepro:

Top compartment: 24 x 19 x 53 cm (9.45 x 7.48 x 20.87 in)
Internal Dimensions: 19.5 x9 x 23 cm (7.68 x 3.54 x 9.06 in)
External Dimensions:27 x 17 x 49 cm (10.63 x 6.69 x 19.29 in)
Weight: 1.3 kg (2.86 lbs)

  • Up to a pro-sized DSLR with a kit lens attached
  • Flash
  • Hydration reservoir (up to 70 oz. or 2 liters; not included)
  • Personal items
This bag is only 1.3kg when empty.
lowepro img027
Exterior Dimensions: 10.6 x 6.7 x 19.3" (27 x 17 x 49cm)

The three main chamber/compartment/pocket are:

(1) Ultra-Cinch Camera Chamber

Interior Camera Chamber: 7.7 x 3.5 x 9.1" (19.5 x 9 x 23cm)
Zippered, side-access pocket allows photographer to quickly rotate to front, unzip, un-cinch and access camera

I can fit my Canon 40D with the MPE65 attached, and a Sigma 150mm with 1.4x teleconverter on.

It can be the other way round too i.e Sigma 150 + 1.4x teleconverter on the Canon 40D, and MPE65 on its own
Admittedly, this combo will create quite a little of bulge! Should be better with the 1.4x teleconverter removed.

Once your photographic gear is all in, just pull drawcord and tightly cinch for snug and secure fit, and to help prevent bouncing while in motion!

(2) Top/upper compartment.
You can fit so many things in here. Light jacket, clothes, food or more photographic gear like lens, speedlight, extra body. Just put them in neoprene pouches.
Top Compartment: 24 x 19 x 53 cm (9.45 x 7.48 x 20.87 in)

There is a zippered pocket inside the upper/top compartment. This is a good place for personal items like car keys, mobile phone, wallet etc.
There is a clip for key ring.

(3) Hydration pocket
There is a hydration pocket for a 2L hydration reservoir (not included)
You can use the hydration for your iPad/Tab or even a small laptop too. The padding isn't that great though so make sure your tablet is in a neoprene pouch, at least.

Many other pockets

Oh, there are a few more pockets too! The waistbelt pockets would be great for small items like memory cards, batteries, snacks and so on.

And more pocket :). If you don't need a hydration pocket, you can just use this pocket for water bottle.

Compression straps and loops at the bottom part of the bag allow attachment of a life jacket, poles or extra gear, or even a traveler tripod. Mine is a big tripod though.

However, holding the tripod at the bottom might not be the best idea especially if you're doing some serious hiking or biking. Luckily, there is enough space in the top compartment for you to put even a large tripod inside!
Yes, there is actually room between the bag wall and the camera chamber, therefore it is not a good idea to put small item in this compartment as it might end up at the bottom and you'll be left wondering if you forgot to bring it or you lost it! :D. You can, however, use a small zippered bag to store your items before you the whole zipper bag in this compartment.

It comes with a built-in whistle too. Handy when you need to attract attention!

All the thoughtful features aside, this backpack also fits snugly and comfortably on my back/shoulders. And once you buckle up the chest straps and the waist straps, you will feel less burden on your shoulders and neck as some of the weight will be transferred to your hips.

Other users' reviews:

Check out some of the clips here for review/overview/sharing by other athletes/photographers.

You can pack a lot of stuff into this bag, including a medium tripod! Check out this clip and see it for yourself!

From trekkers' perspective

From a mountain biker's perspective. You can see in this clip that you don't have to put the backpack down in order to reach for the camera. Just sling the backpack to your left.

You can see how he put the hydration pack into the pocket in this clip.

From a skier's perspective

Some other product details that might be of interest to you:

- Ultra-lightweight construction with high-performance fabrics provide comfort, durability and resiliency during extreme activity

- Ultra-Cinch Camera Chamber™ protects camera gear in a padded and secure compartment and helps prevent bouncing while athlete/photographer in motion

- Zippered, side-access pocket allows photographer to quickly rotate to front, unzip, un-cinch and access camera

- Toploading upper compartment provides up to 13.9 liters of personal space for items like a jacket, lunch, cell phone, etc.

- Dedicated hydration pocket with port provides storage and easy access to liquid from a hydration reservoir (not included)

- Multiple attachment points offer a variety ways to expand carrying capacity

- Patented, built-in All Weather AW Cover™ protects camera and personal gear from the elements

lowepro img027b

lowepro img028b

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Zanna terminalis lantern bugs

A collection of images showing various nymph stages as well as adult of Zanna terminalis lantern bugs/lanternfly

Check out many other gorgeous species of lantern bugs here.

Zanna terminalis 1st instar(?). 16mm body length.
Zanna sp. 1st instar, 16mm IMG_5390 copy

Zanna terminalis 2nd instar(?), 25mm (middle), and 3rd instar(?), 35mm (bottom)
Zanna sp. 2nd and 3rd instar IMG_5395 stk copy

Zanna terminalis 4th instar(?), 40mm.
Zanna sp. 4th instar, 40mm IMG_5401 stk copy

Collage showing all 4 instar stages and adult as well.
different instars stages for Zanna sp. lantern bugs IMG_5395 stk copy

An animated gif showing a 2nd instar(?) molting to become 3rd instar(?).
zanna molting gif 55

Another animated gif on molting.
zanna molting2  gif 55
More animated gif here.

Two molting/molted nymphs in this image.
molted/molting zanna sp. nymphs IMG_5384 stk copy

Unidentified wasp hive(?)
egg case of Zanna sp. lantern bug? IMG_9879 copy

Zanna terminalis lantern bug nymphs
41 Zanna sp. lantern bug nymph IMG_9785 copy

Specimen #1: A newly emerged adult Zanna terminalis lantern bug. Note the still crumpled wings.
newly emerged adult zanna sp. lantern bug IMG_5514 copy

Note the longer wings in this image.It pumped liquid to its wings to fully expand them.
newly emerged adult zanna sp. lantern fly IMG_5523 copy

The wings were more expanded in this image
newly emerged adult zanna sp. expanding its wings IMG_5528 copy

Almost fully expanded, only slightly crumbled at the tips. 
newly emerged adult zanna sp. lantern fly IMG_5531 copy

Just a little bit more...
newly emerged adult zanna sp. lantern bug IMG_5535 copy

Done, but still needed to wait for the wings and exoskeleton to harden.
newly emerged adult zanna sp. lantern bug IMG_5544 copy

The colors became darker too.
newly emerged adult zanna sp. lantern bug IMG_5597 copy

Specimen #2. A newly emerged Zanna terminalis lantern bug. You can see the exuviae in the background
newly emerged adult zanna sp. lantern bug IMG_9761 copy

The same specimen. You can see the exuviae clearly in this image
newly emerged adult Zanna sp. lantern bugs and its exuviae IMG_9726 copy

The same specimen. Newly emerged adult Zanna terminalis lantern bug and its young siblings. Two 2nd instars(?) and one 3rd instar(?).
Newly emerged adult Zanna sp. lantern bug and its young siblings IMG_9746 copy

A closer look at the exuviae. You can see the out-of-focus newly emerged adult in the background
zanna sp. lantern bug exuviae R0022140 copy

Specimen #3. An adult Zanna nobilis lantern bug. Perak, Malaysia.
adult zanna sp. lantern bug from Perak IMG_1515 copy

Check out all 14 species of lantern bugs (10 with snouts and 4 without) here.

All images taken with a Sigma 150mm f/2.8, Sigma APO Teleconverter 1.4x , tripod and natural light


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