<< Previous Next >>

jewel in mangrove mud

jewel in mangrove mud
Photo Information
Copyright: Michal Grabowski (cedryk) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 50 N: 1722] (5270)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-05-13
Categories: Crustacia
Camera: Nikon Coolpix 8700, 80-210mm, @ ISO 50, Hoya UV Filter
Exposure: f/4.2, 1/69 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2006-12-26 21:11
Viewed: 4506
Points: 18
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
And now something completely different... Let's go to Florida Keys- wouldn't it be a nice place for a winter? Surely it would. However the last time I was there it was May, not a bad month in Poland either :-)

Anyway, my first day in Florida I went to John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park on Key Largo. Actually I didn't intend to go to the reef but just wanted to relax and adapt to the time and climat change.
Besides coral reefs the park offers some small but nice area of mangroves (see workshop) just packed with various wildlife, so it was a perfect chance to explore it.

But remember wildlife is not only birds, reptiles, mammals or insects - there are also some small creeping creatures that people rarely look at - eg. crustaceans. I was lucky to be there during low tide and could see several inhabitants of the mangrove bottom.

A very interesting one is a rock (or sea) slater - small isopod of family Ligiidae Brandt & Ratzeburg, 1831 and of genus Ligia Fabricius, 1798.

Altogether there are three species of Ligia inhabiting Florida coast: Ligia baudiniana Milne-Edwards, 1840, Ligia olfersii Brandt, 1833 and Ligia exotica, Roux, 1828. The last one is most spread but I'm not able to tell the species from the picture. Anyway is one of these three :-)

As the name suggests these animals live mostly in rocks but many of the species inhabit also sandy or muddy coasts. They can be found abundantly all over the world, serving as cleaners helping to degrade organic matter deposited by sea. Usually they are quite modest in colours (compare with my Ligia italica from the Black Sea coast) but this one I found quite attractive - with this mosaic of greenish white and dark green it looked like a small jewel.

In fact it wasn't that easy to photograph. Slaters are very fast and they continuously observe their surroundings. If there's something disturbing they run like hell to their shelters dug in a ground. This one stayed very close to it's hole but almost holding my breath and extending my zoom I was able to get few shots before this smart little fellow realised I was after him :-)

Argus, horia, dew77, sAner, extramundi, scottevers7, blakitan, cicindela has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2006-12-26 23:04]

Hello Michal

A fascinating post.The shot is well timed,with an excellent POV.The colours are well saturated .Thanks for sharing with us the little creatures that get overlooked.


  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2006-12-27 1:32]

Hello Michal,
This is an excellent contribution to TN, a fine sharp shot of an interesting isopod. Good lighting and presentation as well. I guess it was about 2 cm long?
TFS, regards, Ivan

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2006-12-27 5:20]

Hi Michal

A very interesting creature from a really beautiful and worth visiting place nowadays :)
I would personally love to have a trip now to a warm place, full of life just ready to be photographed :)
This isopod is really cute actually. I like the colors and the pattern they make on its back, the very nice and sharp details and the low POV.
Very well done!
Cheers and TFS

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2006-12-27 8:18]

Hello Michal,
Interesting close up.POV,lighting,sharpness and composition are excellent.

  • Great 
  • sAner Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
  • [2006-12-30 7:53]

Very unusual shot, but very nice. Sharp, well composed and good dof. The light parts on the bug seem a little bit bright. Did you flash? All the best for 2007!


This was a very difficult shot with flash (I suppose) and such reflective surfaces, and a non cooperative subject, but you managed very nicely.
Really weird and strange creatures this Ligias. I enjoyed very much the note with the WS and the link to your other Ligia. They somehow remember to the Oniscus (woodlouse).
Happy 2007!!!

Hi Michal,
I have been to Pennekamp State Park on Key Largo. Great place!
This is an interesting creature. The color and pattern on the backside make it easy to spt. But, it sounds like it was a difficult subject to get this good shot.
Happy New Year my friend,

Hi Michal,
Very interesting capture.
Always nice to view something new.
Great shot.

Ben Lakitan

  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2007-01-04 14:13]

Hello Michal,
very interesting shot, and great note. Very well captured, looks really like a piece of jewelery. Great POV, colors and details.

Chwila wolnego to i troche po archiwach popatrzyc mozna :)
Ciekawa kompozycja i ladny kontrast miedzy skala a isopodem. Troche odblasku od mokrych powierzchni, ale na szczescie nie psuje on ogolnego wizerunku zdjecia. Poza tym podoba mi sie fakt zaprezenowania na TN zwierzecia malo popularnego, bo ani nie kolorowego (zbytnio), ani nie jakos specjalnie duzego ;)
Notka tradycyjnie profesjonalna.

Calibration Check