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The Best Images From The Wildlife Photographer of the Year Contest Have Been Announced And Some Of Them Are Disturbing

Published 12 months ago

#91 Javier Aznar González De Rueda, Spain, Winner 2018 Wildlife Photographer Portfolio Award

The Odd Couple
While watching the relationship between treehoppers and ants, Javier noticed that ‘an individual ant would look after a particular treehopper’. At such a high magnification, the depth of field, or amount in focus, was narrow. ‘It took me days to capture the ant’s head and the treehopper aligned in the same plane,’ he says.

The female treehopper is to the right of this image, and the ant to the left. Just three millimetres long, with a distinctive helmet along her thorax, the treehopper enlists the help of the larger ant, and its jaws, to see off any threats. For added protection, the treehopper lays a hard secretion over her precious brood of eggs.

Image source: Natural History Museum

#92 “Unbearable” By Britta Jaschinski, Germany / Uk, Highly Commended 2018 Wildlife Photojournalism

Image source: Natural History Museum

#93 Javier Aznar González De Rueda, Spain, Winner 2018 Wildlife Photographer Portfolio Award

Rainforest Relations
Javier was fascinated by the insect behaviours he saw here. The female treehoppers were watching over their eggs, while in turn being guarded by ants. It was a challenge to capture the action of tiny animals amid a dense forest, so Javier chose a wide angle to reveal the miniature players, absorbed in the duties of their small world.

The female treehoppers physically shield their eggs, while ants guard from a distance. The ants protect the young in exchange for being able to drink the sweet sap they excrete. Finding egg-guarding females close to each other is not unusual, perhaps because more young produce more sap, which attracts more ant guards.

Image source: Natural History Museum

Aušrys Uptas

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best nature photography, best wildlife photography, best wildlife photos, Natural History Museum, nature photography, Wildlife Photographer of the Year, wildlife photography
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