Bi­ol­o­gist’s photo wins


It may be a deni­son of the deep but the pos­ing lit­tle ’’Madonna’’ squid melted judges hearts. Tak­ing out the Spe­cial Award for Niwa staff in their an­nual pho­tog­ra­phy com­pe­ti­tion, marine bi­ol­o­gist Crispin Mid­dle­ton has man­aged to turn a love of marine life and pho­tog­ra­phy into a ca­reer. Mid­dle­ton spot­ted the squid on the way out to the Poor Knights.

‘‘They’re ex­tremely rare. But if you look in the right places, you can find some amaz­ingly rare and beau­ti­ful crit­ters, right on your doorstep,’’ he said.

Nor­mally found in ocean wa­ter more than 200 me­tres deep, the squid An­cistrocheirus lesueurii grows up to 250mm and is named af­ter its habit of strik­ing a pose with out stretched ten­ta­cles. The judges – pho­tog­ra­phy pro­fes­sion­als Ross Giblin of Stuff and Gerry le Roux from Sci­ence Lens - said the squid looked like bal­let dancers on stage. Also win­ner of the wildlife sec­tion of New Zealand Ge­o­graphic‘s pho­to­graphic awards last year with his im­age of a fly­ing fish, Mid­dle­ton has man­aged to com­bine his ex­per­tise be­hind the cam­era with marine re­search. Based at Niwa’s Bream Bay aqua­cul­ture cen­tre for more than 10 years, Mid­dle­ton’s re­search has taken him from the Ker­madec Is­lands to the Sub Antarc­tic Is­lands, al­though most is around North­land, Auck­land and the Bay of Plenty.


Crispin Mid­dle­ton’s im­age of the Madonna squid has taken out the Spe­cial Award at NIWA’s an­nual pho­tog­ra­phy awards.

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