HERE’S LOOKING AT YOU, BUG
THEY could easily be colourful characters from the latest animated Disney movie but these incredible insects are real.
A jaw-dropping series of photos has put the fascinating miniature world of “minibeasts” under the microscope, allowing a close- up insight into what really is a bug’s life.
Among the horde of cheerful critters is the tiny monkey grass- hopper, which is only 15mm long and a popular target for an array of predators. Luckily, the cheeky chap has two huge eyes that provide a great field of view so it can easily bounce out of the way at the first sign of danger.
On the other end of the scale is the quite happy-looking gumleafleaf katydid, who despite a friendly appearance is really a smiling assassin.
This fearsome predator of the insect world is able to catch and dismember other bugs as large as itself. It uses a combination of great vision and chemical sensing via its antennae to detect its prey before launching an attack.
The series of images come from Australian insect expert and photographer Alan Henderson’s new book Minibeasts, which uses
macro photography y to get readers up close and personal with a whole range of creepy crawlies in their natural environment across the country
Henderson, who operates Minibeast Wildlife, a team of bug experts based in far north Queensland, felt inspired to create the book to teach people how important insects are to our survival.
“As small as these animals are,
they are critically important,” Henderson explains.
“Without them, the world as we know it would come to a grinding halt.
“The roles they play are linked to all other living things. Plants rely on them as pollinators so they can reproduce.
“Without them, it’s not just forests and natural habitats we would lose, but many of the crops we eat as well.”
Among the topics covered in the book are the jobs minibeasts perform that are important to the ecosystem, as well as the ways in which they have evolved to suit their environments. It also includes detail about how humans borrow ideas from the little creatures in several fields, including biotechnology, engineering and design.
A conehead katydid (Copiphorini)A wolf spider (Lycosid
A giant rainforest mantis.
dae)A monkey grasshopper. A gumleaf katydid.
A male peacock jumping spider.