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Laying Eggs

Laying Eggs
Photo Information
Copyright: John Plumb (JPlumb) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 618 W: 158 N: 896] (2904)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-05-10
Categories: Insects
Camera: Nikon D200, AF-S VR Micro Nikkor 105mm 1:2.8G ED
Exposure: f/16, 1/60 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2008-05-14 18:13
Viewed: 4022
Points: 30
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
My wife and I played tourist last weekend and went down to see the sights around Jervis Bay (beaches with the “Whitest sand in the world”). As we checked into our room, I saw this lady on the brick by the door. I believe it is a Urticating Anthelid (Anthela nicothoe).

This family of moth (Anthelidae) is found only in Australia and New Guinea. The caterpillars are quite hairy. The hairs seem to be a defense mechanism, and can often cause skin irritation. It is said to feed on various Wattles. In the pupa stage, the caterpillar pokes its hairs through the cocoon wall before pupating inside, giving the pupa a fuzzy appearance.

Distribution of this species is from Tasmania to Queensland.

Much of this and ID from: http://www.ento.csiro.au/aicn/system/c_2307.htm
and http://www-staff.it.uts.edu.au/~don/larvae/anth/nicoth.html

This one is obviously a female, but even without finding her laying eggs like this ( please see workshop for enlargement ), the females can be distinguished quite easily (once you know how) from the males. In fact this at first, made identification a problem. After some investigation on the CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization) website I found a good photograph of a female, and identified the moth. I then looked this species up with google to verify the ID, and to learn more about it. To my horror, I came across an article that described this moth as being smaller, and having feathery antennae. It wasn’t until I read the entire article that I discovered that there is a major difference with the female having filamentous antennae, and growing to have a wing span of up to 10 cm. I measured this one at about 3.5 inches or 9 cm.

To make the shot, it was night time, so I had to use a flash, this created the shadow you see under the wing. I took several shots, finally settling on one with the flash underexposed by 1 stop to give me the most natural colour. That wasn’t the most difficult part of the job, the ID later was.

I follow a generic workflow now as outlined in my Bio.
Details and differences to this are as follows:
Shot taken at 105mm, ISO 250, f/16, 1/60 sec (flash TTL -1)
Levels tweaked further by eye
Contrast adjustments tweaked further in curves
Saturation +30 to master, +5 to red, -5 to red lightness
Saved at 84% quality for 297K

jusninasirun, Jamesp, maurydv, mariki, SueThomson, inked, PaulH, zulfu, Adanac, ramthakur, haraprasan, uleko has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-05-14 23:08]

Hi John

Nice macro - very good detail and exposure. Excellent technical note too - very helpful.


  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2008-05-14 23:54]

Hi John,

A nice,sharp and detailed capture,the exposure is well handled,strange place to lay it eggs,never knew that they do this on walls,anyway tfs this posting,


Splendida macro di falena, ottimi POV e composizione, eccellente nitidezza, molto belli e saturi i colori, forse troppo evidenti le ombre provocate dal flash. Grazie e complimenti. Ciao Maurizio

Hello John,

Very nice picture of this moth laying eggs. Very good POV, DOF and sharpness. I like the wall as background too. Good light and beautiful colours.

Hi John
Nice colours and textures in this shot. Good spotting on the eggs...they are tiny! TFS

  • Great 
  • inked Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 132 W: 0 N: 249] (771)
  • [2008-05-15 2:40]

hi John,
great macro shot of this moth and it's eggs.. really well spotted! nice dorsal pov with great detail and good lighting. nicely done, tfs

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2008-05-15 3:14]

Hi John,
very impressive capture! Love the flat, level POV, the lighting is well handled also, giving excellent clarity, detail and a shadow that makes this moth really stand out. Great setting against the brick wall and the added bonus of some eggs too - very well done!

  • Great 
  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2008-05-15 9:09]

Hello John, splendid capture of this night butterfly. TFS. Regards,

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-05-15 20:51]

Hello John,
Great closeup with sharp focus and great exposure. Lovely work John, thank you.

Hi John,
Thanks for your critique on my recent Lizard picture.
I like the general coppery appearance to your image of this exotic Moth. You have done a good job with the flash light. Nice details and colours.

  • Great 
  • Ken52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 636 W: 93 N: 1243] (4195)
  • [2008-05-16 21:25]

Great shot! Exceptional details and light. I also love the detail on the workshop photo. Good work!

Hi John,
A nice capture of this moth with her eggs. Excellent composition and sharp details. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-05-17 19:42]

Hi John,
Wonderful shot of this beautiful moth laying tiny little eggs. Very impressive sharpness, details and colours with superb light and exposure. The red brick wall acts as a fine BG. Excellent POV and composition. Kudos.

Hello John. awesome capture of this moth. I like the full spread wings against the camouflaged looking wall. Very good image and thanks for sharing. Jusni

Excellent macro, John, Very well seen.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-05-21 7:58]

Hello John,
You certainly managed to get a superb capture of this beautiful moth on the brick wall! I like the sharp details and the fine colours. Very well done!
Many thanks, Ulla

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