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Photo Information
Copyright: Goutham Ramesh (goutham_ramesh) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 835 W: 154 N: 2871] (12237)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-03-16
Categories: Insects
Camera: Nikon D50, Sigma 180 Macro Ex HSM
Exposure: f/11, 3 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2009-03-17 0:57
Viewed: 4501
Points: 6
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Hi all,

There was a power outage yesterday night, and it was time to take my pet dog Scooby for a walk.I was walking casually on the road and noticed some kind of glow on the road , on closer inspection I saw a larvae emitting light! immediately i rushed to get my camera and shot some pictures with 3 seconds exposure with a front curtain flash sync and this is what I got :-)

Here the flash has exposed the details on the bugs body and the 3 second exposure was able to record the bio-luminance ( off course the insect moved its tail ,so you see streak of light ).

I think its a larvae of Lightning beetles (Lampyridae). What amazes me is the amount of light that this guy can produce with chemicals! Murali told me that this behavior is to indicate to frogs that they are poisonous.


haraprasan, smitha has marked this note useful
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Quite a technical feat ! The combination of the flash with a long exposure was very efficient in this difficult case. And the night time atmospher is also present in the picture. Extremely well done !
Moreover it is interesting as a document. It is true that chemiluminescence is rather unusual, but it is quite efficient actually. The phenomenon is based on fairly unstable chemical compositions, but the bug doesn't care, because it is making and mixing them continually, and does not need to store anything unstable for any length of time.

very interesting photo.

Ive seen this frequently in tropics inckuding v large insects in Ecuador.

Rgds Mike.

Hi Goutham,
A nice capture of this glowing larvae. Very well composed with good details. Good technique applied to capture this. Many thanks for sharing this knowledge.

  • Great 
  • smitha Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 348 W: 73 N: 1165] (4409)
  • [2009-03-17 10:30]

Hello Goutham,
Now, where have I seen this picture before?;)
Excellent macro shot, Gotham. I really admire the way you have exposed this larvae so as to capture its glow. The picture is very sharp with good details.
TFS & Regards,

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