The Entomological Society of New Zealand’s Photo Competition: ‘Wonder of the Insect World’

Tom and I recently entered a photography competition put on by the Entomological Society of New Zealand. A family friend of ours, knowing our love for wildlife photography, saw it advertised in the local paper and gave us the article. It was only a couple of days before the closing date, so we both chose two of our favourite critter photos and submitted them online.

A couple of weeks later, much to our excitement, we found out that both mine and Tom’s photos had made it through to the finals! These photos were put on display in the Gallery on Guyton along with 16 other finalists.

On Sunday 8th April, 2018, we attended the prize-giving where they announced the competition’s winner. Here we are beforehand checking out a couple of familiar photos:

Click to zoom in

The following photos are the images we submitted along with the blurbs that we wrote to accompany them.


Emma’s Entries


“Off With Her Head!”

Crawford, Emma-Louise - Ants Carrying Tamamushi Head - Uwajima, JapanClick to zoom in

Location: Uwajima City, Ehime Prefecture, Japan
Setup: Taken with a Sony Cyber-Shot compact camera (DSC-TX10)

In this photo, you can see a group of ants carrying off a tamamushi (Chrysochroa fulgidissima) head. I came across this little hive of activity whilst visiting Warei Shrine in my Japanese hometown, Uwajima.

Tamamushi (玉虫) literally translates to ‘jewel bug’ which, as you can see, is very fitting. It is a metallic wood-boring beetle in the family Buprestidae, and is native to Japan and Korea.


“Take-off”

Crawford, Emma-Louise - Citrus Longhorn Beetle - Uwajima, Japan
Click to zoom in

Location: Uwajima City, Ehime Prefecture, Japan
Setup: Taken with a Sony Cyber-Shot compact camera (DSC-TX10)

In this photo, you can see a gomadara-kamikiri (Anoplophora malasiaca) in the midst of take-off from my hand. It landed on me as I was cycling to a friend’s house, so I quickly whipped out my camera and took this shot.

The gomadara-kamikiri (胡麻斑髪切) is a longhorn beetle that is found in Japan, Korea and Taiwan. They can do serious damage to trees, so are not loved by the many citrus farmers whose crops make Ehime famous.


Tom’s Entries


“Ruby-tailed Wasp”

Miles, Tom - Ruby-tailed Wasp - Kewstoke, England
Click to zoom in

Location: Kewstoke, England
Setup: Nikon D7000, SB700 & a Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di MACRO 1:1

The subject of this photograph is a kleptoparasitic cuckoo wasp, a ruby-tailed wasp (Chrysis sp). A kleptoparasite is an animal that takes food from another that has caught, collected, or otherwise prepared the food, including stored food. In the case of the ruby-tailed wasp, it takes advantage of nests made by solitary bees and wasps, laying it’s eggs within them. The ruby-tailed wasp larvae then hatch and consume the hosts egg’s/larvae before consuming the food that the host had gathered for their own, now consumed, offspring.

This tiny (5mm) wasp was remarkably spotted by my partner, Emma, at some distance glinting in the sunlight. To capture this image, I coaxed the wasp onto the screen of my mobile phone using a droplet of maple syrup. This provided the reflection in the resulting image.


“Face to Face”

Miles,Tom - Vagrant Spider - Whanganui, New Zealand
Click to zoom in

Location: Whanganui, New Zealand
Setup: Nikon D7000, SB700 & a Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di MACRO 1:1

The subject of this photograph is a native New Zealand vagrant spider (Uliodon sp). Vagrant spiders are active nocturnal forest hunters, but are often found in gardens under logs.

This individual was one of the largest I have come across. It was found while gardening at a property in Whanganui. I made the most of the opportunity and got up close and personal to take this shot.


Announcing the Winner

After a drink and chat with other entrants and insect-lovers, Entomologist and competition organiser, Rudi Schnitzler, called everyone’s attention. Rudi announced the winner’s name, and it was our very own Tom Miles with his ruby-tailed wasp photo!

Tom 'Ruby-tailed Wasp' Zoomology
First-prize winner, Tom, with his entry “Ruby-tailed Wasp”

We’re so excited for you, Tom! Congratulations on the win!

From the 67th New Zealand Entomological Society Conference Programme, page 7:

2018 Entomological Society of New Zealand - Photography Competition and ExhibitionClick to zoom in


Visit the ‘Wonder of the Insect World’ Exhibition

If you’d like to check out the exhibition for yourself, here are the details:

Where:
Gallery on Guyton, 62 Guyton Street, Whanganui 4500, New Zealand
When:
Sunday 8th – Saturday 14th April, 2018 daily from 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm
Entry is free.

Many thanks to the judges, Su Hendeles and Ormond Torr, to Rudi Schnitzler for organising and running the competition, and to the Entomological Society of New Zealand.


References and Further Reading

The Entomological Society of New Zealand – http://ento.org.nz/
(Retrieved 11 April, 2018)

The 67th New Zealand Entomological Society Conference Programme – http://ento.org.nz/resources/ESNZ_2018_programme.pdf
(Retrieved 11 April, 2018)

Gallery on Guyton’s Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/galleryonguyton/
(Retrieved 11 April, 2018)

Ruby-tailed Wasp: Beautiful, But Deadly* – Zoomology Blog –https://zoomologyblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/09/ruby-tailed-wasp-beautiful-but-deadly/
(Retrieved 11 April, 2018)

19 Comments Add yours

  1. Pam says:

    Awesome! Those are truly stunning pictures! Congrats!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Pam! 🙂

      -Emma

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your photo entries are so interesting. I loved the title “Off With Her Head!” and its such an interesting shot! The beetle is like some sci-fi creation. The winning entry I’m already familiar with from your blog but that makes it no less impressive. And the vagrant spider is incredible. So glad you entered the NZ competition while you’re still here and a big “Well Done!” to Tom!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Liz! Thank you very much from Tom and I! We definitely had fun getting all these shots. 😀 Yes, I’m so glad we had the opportunity to enter the competition. We actually start heading back to the UK in a week from today, so we just had enough time to take part!

      -Emma

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wishing you both all the best for your journey!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Fotohabitate says:

    That’s really great! Congratulations!!! It’s very important to show the varity of insect in a world which loose its little inhabitants.
    The pictures are stunning!!
    All the best Simone

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Simone! We absolutely agree – it’s great to give these little Earthlings some well-deserved exposure. 😀 In fact, I believe that was the goal of the Entomological Society in holding the competition! They did a wonderful job.

      -Emma

      Liked by 1 person

  4. sarasmerdon says:

    Love your work guys!! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sara! x

      -Emma

      Like

  5. Congratulations guys! Wonderful photographs! 🎉🎉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for you kind comment, Dara! 🙂

      -Emma

      Like

  6. blhphotoblog says:

    Brilliant Tom and what a stunning shot, great winner! Emma your shots are excellent as well. Last year I entered the butterfly image on my blog header into the Butterfly Conservation (Norfolk) photo comp and got 1st pace so I know the feeling!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Brian! We just checked out your butterfly image again, and it is definitely a winning photo. A belated congratulations! 🙂

      -Emma

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Pete Hillman says:

    Congratualtions to you both! They are trully stunning photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Pete! Thank you very much!

      -Emma

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow, such lovely photos! My personal favorite was the spider photograph. It looks so scary yet cool. I think I see why the wasp picture won, however. It looks like it was hard to set up! However, my opinion is that shots that are set up are not as natural and often the photographer has to kill the subject to get it to stay still, so they are not as enjoyable. Still-it is a great photo!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I can see why the side view of the colorful ruby-tailed wasp caught the judges’ attention.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Zoomology says:

      Thank you, Steve. That photo is still one of my favourites of Tom’s shots. As you said, it’s just so eye catching. 🙂

      -Emma

      Like

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