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Observer

vipinbaliga

Date

September 6, 2015 02:18 PM IST

Description

Found 2 female twig spiders in the same vicinity. Each had its egg case beside it.

The gust of wind and low light posed a serious challenge in photographing this beautiful spider.
the pictures were either out of focus or blurred due to the wind. Had to take so many pictures to get a satisfactory shot.

Sometimes the spider would twist and turn its elongated abdomen. Besides this nothing much happened all the while.

Wish to see the tiny spiderlings :-)
length: 1.5 inch approx (body only)

Photos / Sounds

Observer

vipinbaliga

Date

September 5, 2015

Description

I was waiting for a bus in a village near Bangalore when I saw something like a 2 headed Velvet Ant moving very fast on the ground. Took a closer look and realized it was very beautiful spider !!! The front pair of legs had beautiful velvet like tufts which it held out with pride while moving about.

Now the harsh reality set in. The bus i was waiting for would reach any minute. If i miss it, i would have to wait for at least 3 hours for the next one. With this in mind I quickly got my camera out and started photographing this fast little spider from every angle possible. Initially i thought it was a Salticidae. Eye arrangement which i observed in the zoomed in picture proved me wrong.

This spider was a nightmare to photograph. Continuously moving in an erratic manner and turning away from the direction of the camera. I was on the ground struggling for a satisfactory shot when an audience started gathering around me.

I had to take the Spider in my hand so that it wouldn't escape among the many pairs of legs all around me :-D

I had to answer all the curious questions from the watching audience while holding my breath, trying to get the focus right and frame well.

i had to make sure the spider didn't escape among the bushes in a split second while i was reviewing a shot. (Not answering them would be considered rude and I didn't want that).

After a few minutes of epic struggle with this beautiful creature the bus arrived. The spider was now safely among the grass and I clumsily boarded the bus with my tripod in one hand , camera in the other and a half open bag on my back :-D

The bus journey turned into a Q&A session. The interested students and local people taking a closer look at the pictures, asking all kinda questions, narrating their version of spider stories etc.

This is a high ISO shot, didn't have time to set up the lighting.... Not much info is available about this spider, its behavior, feeding and breeding habits.

Any info would be appreciated.

Spider on Steroids : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feXAaGfrrEg

Close-up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9exsBvhZCCo

Photos / Sounds

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What

Short-horned Grasshoppers Family Acrididae

Observer

vipinbaliga

Date

December 22, 2014

Description

Leeching off -Short horned grasshopper and the Parasitic fly

I have seen Mites embedded in many different insects and reptiles. But this is a rare sight - a parasitic fly feeding off a Grasshopper.

The Parasite was deeply embedded in the Grasshopper's abdomen and it was throbbing up and down while trying to gorge on the Grasshopper's blood. You can see the fly excreting simultaneously.

The discomfort of the Grasshopper was made obvious by its occasional bending and contorting abdomen.

It was an interesting sight. Had to shoot at high ISO due to the constant wind .

Photos / Sounds

Observer

vipinbaliga

Date

November 21, 2012

Description

Found this Bush frog hopping among the thick grass almost at the peak.
It was very easy for us to lose it among the grass.. So we decide to place it on a boulder for a record shot.

We were perplexed what these bush frogs were doing here, a grassland.
There was no Shola forest for quiet some distance and reaching such a forest would be an impossible feat given all the obstructions it had to negotiate.

After a few shots we released it back in the same place.

We thought it might be Raorchestes kani.. Thanks to Gururaja Sir and Sandeep Das for the ID :-)

Photos / Sounds

Observer

vipinbaliga

Date

November 29, 2014

Description

More pictures: http://indiabiodiversity.org/observation/show/358366

It was late evening, we were returning from a hike when I found something jump on the rock.

Took a closer look and it was a Toad!!
But this Toad was not familiar to me in any way, all his features were kinda new to me. The coloration matched the rock exactly!!

It just kept on hopping, never stopped until it entered a rock crevice.
Managed to get a few shots of this interesting looking Toad.

Very happy to have found a totally unfamiliar frog near Bangalore.
It seems this Toad is not very common.
Data is deficient on this species...
The pictures are rare.

Thank you Gururaja Sir for the ID help :-)

Photos / Sounds

What

Travancore Tortoise Indotestudo travancorica

Observer

vipinbaliga

Date

November 23, 2014 02:17 PM IST

Description

Found this Tortoise while on a trek last Sunday.
The rustle of the leaves alerted us to this old creature.

It was slowly moving underneath all theleaf litter. It froze as soon as we approached it.

We 3 of us took a few shots and left the place. :-)

Length: 1feet approx

Photos / Sounds

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What

Butterflies and Moths Order Lepidoptera

Observer

vipinbaliga

Date

August 14, 2014

Description

This moth was found on a wall, attracted to the light source.

On the boundary of a forested area.

Photos / Sounds

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What

Butterflies and Moths Order Lepidoptera

Observer

vipinbaliga

Date

August 14, 2014

Description

This moth was found on a wall, attracted to the light source.

On the boundary of a forested area.

Photos / Sounds

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What

Butterflies and Moths Order Lepidoptera

Observer

vipinbaliga

Date

August 14, 2014

Description

This moth was found on a wall, attracted to the light source.

On the boundary of a forested area.

Photos / Sounds

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What

Butterflies and Moths Order Lepidoptera

Observer

vipinbaliga

Date

August 14, 2014

Description

This moth was found on a wall, attracted to the light source.

On the boundary of a forested area.

Photos / Sounds

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What

Butterflies and Moths Order Lepidoptera

Observer

vipinbaliga

Date

August 14, 2014

Description

This moth was found on a wall, attracted to the light source.

On the boundary of a forested area.

Photos / Sounds

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What

Butterflies and Moths Order Lepidoptera

Observer

vipinbaliga

Date

August 14, 2014

Description

This moth was found on a wall, attracted to the light source.

On the boundary of a forested area.

Photos / Sounds

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Observer

vipinbaliga

Date

June 14, 2014

Place

agumbe (Google, OSM)

Description

Photographed this beautiful Damselfly in Agumbe. They could be found everywhere in the jungle. However not all of them were as cooperative as this guy :-D

The males would often engage in a close-quarter in-flight face-off , flashing the brilliant coloration on the wings at each other and flitting over and around the stream. Sometimes 3 males would flash colors at each other just few inches above the stream. It was such a beautiful sight. :-)

Couldn't get a decent picture of the female this time :-(

Photos / Sounds

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What

Fishing Spiders Genus Dolomedes

Observer

vipinbaliga

Date

June 14, 2014

Place

agumbe (Google, OSM)

Description

Found this spider by the edge of a stream. She was waiting for the hapless victim - a struggling insect, a small fish or a tadpole.

There were many Water Striders( Gerridae) all around her. I was eagerly waiting for the her to catch a Water Strider which would sometimes come very close to her. But she didn't seem to be interested in them. I waited for more than 30 mins before I had to move on.

Maybe next time :-)

Photos / Sounds

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What

Amboli bush frog Pseudophilautus amboli

Observer

vipinbaliga

Date

June 14, 2014

Description

Amboli bush frogs - In amplexus

There were lots of Amboli bush frogs in the area we stayed in Agumbe. We were surrounded by loud calls.. But spotting them is a different story..

We found 3 pairs of Amboli bush frogs in amplexus. All of them were found on the ground.

The calling males were perched on leaves. 1 male was slowly approaching this pair in amplexus.

I found 1 male just observing another pair in amplexus from 3 inches away. He never made a move. Their agreement seemed to work ;-D

The female would occasionally move with the male on its back. But nothing much happened that night.

Photos / Sounds

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What

Butterflies and Moths Order Lepidoptera

Observer

vipinbaliga

Date

June 4, 2014 03:47 PM IST

Description

Moth for id

Photos / Sounds

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What

Crab Spiders Family Thomisidae

Observer

vipinbaliga

Date

August 11, 2013

Description

Looks like this spider had a scrumptious meal. She was covered with scales from a Moth. :-)

Photos / Sounds

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What

Rock Dragon Psammophilus dorsalis

Observer

vipinbaliga

Date

May 25, 2014

Place

tg halli (Google, OSM)

Description

Long time wish to photograph him up close finally came true today :-D

Photos / Sounds

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What

Dwarf Honey Bee Apis florea

Observer

vipinbaliga

Date

May 3, 2014

Description

This honeycomb was given to us as a gift by a few sheep herders near Bangalore who had harvested it for their consumption. (wish they hadn't harvested it)

It was Marigold in color unlike the usual light yellow. We were all intrigued to see the different stages of development inside the cells. We could see eggs, larvae in different stages of development and a few emerging bees here and there..

Lifecycle:
Eggs are laid singly in a cell in a wax honeycomb, produced and shaped by the worker bees, the queen actually can choose to fertilize the egg she is laying, usually depending on into which cell she is laying.

Drones develop from unfertilized eggs while females (queens and worker bees) develop from fertilized eggs.

Larvae are initially fed with royal jelly produced by worker bees, later switching to honey and pollen. The exception is a larva fed solely on royal jelly, which will develop into a queen bee. The larva undergoes several moltings before spinning a cocoon within the cell, and pupating.

Young worker bees clean the hive and feed the larvae. When their royal jelly-producing glands begin to atrophy, they begin building comb cells. They progress to other within-colony tasks as they become older, such as receiving nectar and pollen from foragers, and guarding the hive. Later still, a worker takes her first orientation flights and finally leaves the hive and typically spends the remainder of her life as a forager.

Development from egg to emerging bee varies among queens, workers and drones. Queens emerge from their cells in 15,16 days, workers in 21 days and drones in 24 days.

This honeycomb belongs to a species of honey bees called "Dwarf Honey bees" (Apis florea). Their stings are often incapable of penetrating human skin.
(sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honey_bee, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honey_bee_life_cycle, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apis_florea) :-)

Photos / Sounds

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What

Atlas Moth Attacus atlas

Observer

vipinbaliga

Date

May 11, 2014 10:30 PM IST

Description

Found this beautiful Atlas moth while on a trek with a few friends.
We were walking through the dry jungle when one of the friends spotted this beauty, perched at eye level, right in our path!!!

We carefully approached it only to learn it didn't have the slightest care. It allowed us to get to touching distance. :-D

This was a beautiful specimen. It was at ease, gracefully closing and opening its wings every now and then.
We took a few photographs each and few of us even posed with our face near it :-D

After enjoying this beautiful sight for about 10 mins we went ahead with our trek, happy and content :-)

Photos / Sounds

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What

Malabar Gliding Frog Rhacophorus malabaricus

Observer

vipinbaliga

Date

June 16, 2013

Description

Wouldn't have found this beautiful frog if not for his calls... So well camouflaged, only the red webbing on his feet gave away him away.

He would stop calling when I was trying to find where he was. Then I had to wait for another 10 mins or so for him to resume his calls. Eventually i found him, deep inside the bush, beautifully camouflaged and at peace :-)

Photos / Sounds

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Observer

vipinbaliga

Date

July 5, 2013 09:13 PM IST

Description

Found this beautiful Moth on a Jackfruit tree.

He was approx 1.5 inch from tip to tip if I remember it correctly.

I was surprised to find a tiny moth on the bottom right corner while processing this pic. I never saw it while photographing.. I must say their camouflage really works ;-)

Photos / Sounds

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What

Leafhoppers Family Cicadellidae

Observer

vipinbaliga

Date

August 20, 2013

Description

I have always wanted to photograph this insect in natural light ever since I saw it for the 1st time 2 years ago: https://www.flickr.com/photos/vipinbaliga/6793221029/in/photostream

My wish came true one morning when I found this guy on a Mango tree. He was still for a few seconds giving me just enough time to fire off 3 quick shots.

Just look at this guy! His body is almost transparent including the internal organs!!! His shape and his very flat body is just fascinating...I am in awe of this insect. :-)

This insect is razor thin and is 1 cm in length approx.

Photos / Sounds

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What

Mosquitoes Family Culicidae

Observer

vipinbaliga

Date

November 11, 2013

Description

This male mosquito had assumed an odd posture.

He was rather reluctant to fly away. Initially i thought he was feeding on the sap or moisture. On closer inspection I noticed his palps were not touching the bark.

He was just resting.... :-)

Photos / Sounds

What

winged gliding frog Rhacophorus lateralis

Observer

vipinbaliga

Date

June 15, 2013

Description

Last monsoon me and Anoop stumbled upon a little patch of froggy heaven in Coorg. It was a nesting site for Rhacophorus lateralis!!!

The male seen here just 1 among the many who were in the process of finding a mate and building nests last year.

There were many adults perched on leaves. But no nest building activity took place. Few males were calling and few were just contemplating.

All the females were just staring into the dark.

We knew our torch lights would be a disturbance to them if we hang around. So we quickly took a few photographs and waited for a couple of hours in the dark away from the nest site, listening to all sorts of frog calls. We had found tranquility then.

It was past mid night now, we had a quick check then we went back leaving the frogs in peace.

Very heavy rain and wind made the trip highly enjoyable.

Photos / Sounds

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What

Mantids Order Mantodea

Observer

vipinbaliga

Date

December 22, 2013

Description

This little Mantis was one among the many insects which were inactive that misty morning. This guy was occasionally moving with an exaggerated slowness which reminded me about the phrase "{chilled to the bone".

He was beautifully camouflaged. Took a while to find him again when I returned to him after a few minutes. :-)

Photos / Sounds

What

Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis

Observer

vipinbaliga

Date

January 25, 2014

Description

A friend of mine called me up a few days back and informed me about these Pelicans in Lalbagh.
Today morning I decided to visit the place and photograph them for the record.

When I reached Lalbagh lake I could see 3 Pelicans in the water. I was watching them and one by one all three landed on the nearby tree only to be greeted by the marauding Crows. The Crows were everywhere, they were surrounding the Pelicans from every side and trying to pick at them. The Pelicans would occassionally lunge at them with a gaping beak.
I guess the Crows were having a competition as to who would get closest to the Pelicans, I could see a few Crows trying to be as close to the Pelican as possible. 1 Crow finally managed to sit just beside the Pelican only to lose its nerve in a minute and move away.. :-D

This continued for a long time until eventually most of the Crows took off in succession and headed out of Lalbagh. The Pelicans stay put enjoying the Sun and I decided to check out the Lalbagh flower show :-)

Photos / Sounds

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What

Robber Flies Family Asilidae

Observer

vipinbaliga

Date

December 22, 2013 07:15 AM IST

Description

Found this dew drops covered Robber fly on a misty morning. They were so not uncommon and I had the luxury of choosing a specimen to photograph!! That just doesn't happen very often :-D

Looking forward to visiting such places more often. :-)

Photos / Sounds

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Observer

vipinbaliga

Date

December 22, 2013 07:39 AM IST

Description

One morning I found many Grass Jewels. They were all warming up in the morning sun, a few of them had dew drops all over them.
But most of them were perched in difficult to reach places.

Photos / Sounds

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Observer

vipinbaliga

Date

September 2, 2013

Description

I found more than 10 pairs of this beautiful spider in a 10 m X 10 m area. Almost all of them were in the process of mating.

The pair seen here was cautious and hesitant to approach each other.

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