Vinegaroons and Spore Dispersal of Fungi
#1 Looked like a sandstorm up close. The spores were carried lightly in the gentle breeze. For those of us squatting there, we would probably have breathed in thousands of spores. @[email protected]
#2 Trying to document the floating spores
#3 Every shot would look similar, yet vastly different
#4 The source: lots of bracket fungi on a fallen log
#5 It seemed to be dispersing spores non-stop
#6 Finally satisfied with this image to show the phenomenon
The other unique find of the night was the discovery of a Vinegaroon, a.k.a. Whip Scorpion (Thelyphonida, formerly Uropygi) It seemed quite skittish and sensitive to our torch lights, but we managed to capture some shots after some climbing through lots of dried branches.
#7 The Whip Scorpion seemed quite irritated by our presence. Surprisingly, we did not get sprayed with any “vinegar”. It could have used up it’s ammunition earlier…?
#8 The “whip” refers to the tail, and the base of the tail is also where the glands secreting the “vinegar” are located. The tail also has a sensory function, and is often hairy to help “feel” around.
#9 It has eight pairs of legs, with the front-most pair extra long and modified to function as feelers.
#10 The massive palps are claw-like and used to capture prey. Not very surprising here. 🙂
#11 Very dark and reflective, this is one of the most difficult subjects to light up. I was carrying everything handheld so it was too difficult to adjust the flash.
#12 Attempt at alternative lighting. The hair on the tail can be seen clearly here.
#13 Positioned flashes both at the top and bottom of the whip scorpion.
#14 Final shot before we left the jittery fella scampering off.
There were several other finds in the night, not that much less unique. 🙂
#15 Close up of a Huntsman Spider (Sparassidae)
#16 Masked Hunter, or Assassin Bug nymph. Very well camouflaged on tree bark. See if you can spot the eyes. 🙂
#17 Harvestman (Opiliones)
#18 What happens when I miss the subject altogether. lol
#19 This was what I was trying to shoot
#20 Trap jaw ant?
#21 Trap jaw ant with a tiny ant beside
#22 Found a scorpion carrying it’s newborns
#23 Almost customary to take a UV-lit version of all scorpions. 🙂
#24 Close up. Quite obvious that the young ones do not exhibit UV-fluorescence. For more on why scorpions glow under UV light, I have a post on it: Why do Scorpions Glow under UV Light?
#25 Rick found this tiny little Fulgoridae nymph. Has an elongated snout. Lantern bug baby?? 🙂
#26 Top view shows very beautiful colours on the bug.
#27 Not sure of ID. Anyone with hints on this?
#28 Close up on the eye arrangement
#29 Planthopper nymph with the “starburst fiber optic” tail
#30 A tiny jumping spider (Salticidae)
#31 Huntsman spider (Sparassidae) found in the leaf litter
#32 Another huntsman spider (Sparassidae) on a fallen log
#33 Leafhopper engulfed in fungus
The complete album can be viewed here.