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Grasshopper atop Caltropis Flowers

Grasshopper atop Caltropis Flowers
Photo Information
Copyright: Ram Thakur (ramthakur) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4316 W: 231 N: 14052] (56953)
Genre: Plants
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-06-21
Categories: Flowers
Camera: Nikon D200, Sigma EX 105mm F2.8 DG Macro, 58mm UV
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/400 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-06-21 21:16
Viewed: 4284
Points: 42
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
My wife and I went visiting some friends in Gurgaon yesterday. It took us two hours to reach there through dense New Delhi traffic. However, it was worth the effort; their house is located in a low valley formed by the minor Aravali Hills that begin in Delhi and extend all the way across Eastern and Central Rajasthan to dissipate into Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.
I was thrilled at the prospect of exploring the valley and did it in the afternoon yesterday. The monsoons have actually failed to begin on a serious note, so it was sunny, hot and muggy. After two hours in the wilderness, I returned to my grumpy hosts (they thought I was crazy to go insect hunting at that time of the day) and was satisfied with my expedition when I looked at the results on my laptop immediately.

If you recall, I had come across some wild milkweed plants during my outing to Okhla Bird Sancturay last month and had found a whole lot of insects, especially Seed Bugs and some brightly-coloured Grasshoppers, feeding on this plant -- its leaves, flowers and seed pods.
So even though I did shoot another Blue Pansy and a few other insects and birds in the valley, I mainly tried to work on the theme of insects that live off this plant because the place was full of it.
Since the plant itself forms the core of the theme, I would like to repeat information on it borrowed from Wikipedia and would stick to 'Caltropis' instead of calling it Caltropis gigantea though Nirmal suggests it is a Caltropic procera about which I still have my doubts :

Calotropis is a genus of plants that produce milky sap. It is considered a common weed in some parts of the world. The flowers are fragrant and are often used in making 'floral tassels' in some mainland Southeast Asian cultures. Fibres of these plants are called mudar or mader. The plant is known as 'aak' in Ayurveda. The latex is said to have a mercury-like effects on the human body, and is some times referred to as vegetable mercury and is used in place of mercury in aphrodisiacs. It is used variously but sometimes leaves are fried in oil for medicinal purposes.

Root bark has Digitalis like effect on the heart, but was earlier used as a substitute of ipecacuanha.

It is a poisonous plant; calotropin, a compound in the latex, is more toxic than strychnine. Calotropin is similar in structure to two cardiac glycosides which are responsible for the cytotoxicity of Apocynum cannabinum L. Extracts of flower of Calotropis procera have shown a strong cytotoxic activity in the patients of colorectal cancer.

You will notice that there are two grasshoppers on the flowers though only one is in focus.
I personally found the opened up Crown Flower very attractive and have retained it in the composition so that you might be able to enjoy its beauty.

Thanks for looking and have a nice Sunday.

jaycee, boreocypriensis, zulfu, haraprasan, uleko, eqshannon, eng55, sranjan, NinaM, mayuresh, Maite has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To zulfu: Thanksramthakur 1 06-22 04:23
To haraprasan: Painted Grass Hopperharaprasan 1 06-22 02:50
To nirmalroberts: Caltropic issueramthakur 1 06-22 02:36
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-06-21 21:24]

Hi Ram,

The grasshopper looks like a piece of fine stoned jewelry. The colors are exquisite, details are superb and it just doesn't look like a living creature. The flowers are wonderful and you show the waxy texture very well. I love the opened flower -how pretty they must be.


Hi Ram,
Very interesting and colourful grasshopper. Thanks a lot for sharing.
The flower, though, is not Calotropis gigantea (Sveta Arka). It is Calotropis procera (Rakta Arka). For both these species of Calotropis, please see,
- Nirmal

Hello Ram,

Excellent capture of this grasshoper. Very good POV, DOF and shapness. Very good composition. Great light and colours.

  • Great 
  • batu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1079 W: 293 N: 4497] (16383)
  • [2008-06-22 1:08]

Hello Ram,
a nice combination of the flowers and the colourful grasshopper. Both are very attractive.
You focused precisely on the important parts of the frame. The second out-of-focus grasshopper
is a bit disturbing and distracts from the sharply presented one. But you had no other chance!
Omitting it from the display window would have also cut the beautiful open flower to the left.
Best wishes, Peter

Hi Ram,
what an interesting and beautifully coloured and paterned grasshopper which I have not seen ever till now. I think it is an andemic for Southern Asia. You showed us it perfectly in all around. I also loved the details on the beautiful flower. TFS my friend for these beauties.
Have a great Sunday!


  • Great 
  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2008-06-22 2:28]
  • [+]

Hello Ram, superb and perfectly captured grasshoper. TFS. Regards,

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2008-06-22 2:41]

Hi Ram,i'm fascinating from this beuatifulls grasshoppers living in your country,they have colors incredibles,i wish to see live one of that one day..ehehe..excellent work as your style,thanks for share and have a nice Sunday you too,Luciano

Hi Mr. Ram,
A superb capture of this beautiful painted grasshopper's nymph. Excellent composition and sharp details. Thanks a lot for sharing.


Splendida macro di questa coloratissima cavalletta, ottimi POV e composizione con questi fiori particolari, molto buona la nitidezza, bellissimi i colori e BG. Grazie e complimenti. Ciao Maurizio

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-06-22 7:03]

Both the grasshopper nymph, the Caltropis flower and buds are set in a fine composition, Ram.
The flower and the nymph are sharply portrayed and taken from an excellent POV. Interesting to read your note telling us how poisonous Caltropis is and that its latex-like sap is used for medicinal purposes. Presumably the sap gives rise to the vernacular name. Another poisonous plant from America, Asclepia is also known as Milkweed and is the larval host plant for the Monarch butterfly. One wonders if this plant is host plant for related butterflies like the Common Tiger. Certainly the grasshopper is warning-coloured to say that it is poisonous fronm eating this host plant.
Thanks for sharing this beautiful image and the interesting information. I look forward to seeing more insect images that caused your hosts to be a little grumpy!
Best regards, Ivan

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-06-22 7:17]

Hello Ram,
I can imagine the traffic jams on your way through Delhi!! Still, your trip was certainly worth it. This grasshopper is really stunning in its wonderful pattern and colours and the flower is very beautiful too.
Great focus on grasshopper No.1 and the open flower. I expect No. 2 was not as willing to pose!! Lovely soft background and a very fine composition. Very well done! The note is very interesting too!
Many thanks and kind regards, Ulla

Those grasshoppers are truly unique. If I ever saw one in person I would have thought it to be some unusual and unknown creature. I am afraid our grasshoppers are all alike over here and none too pretty as this one Ram..

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-06-22 8:02]

Hello Ram,
Fantastic photo of a very special grasshopper on very special flowers. Great colours and excellent sharpness and details. Amazing light.
Beautiful composition.

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2008-06-22 8:10]

Hello Sir,
This is brilliant and I was told that such insect do visible in the Haryana and UP side. You have captured it beautifully. I am sure if you had shot the other one it would have been brilliant. Ganesh

  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2008-06-22 8:55]

Hi Ram,
Very interesting capture.This grasshoper is new to me.Colors,clear details,sharpness and composition are wonderful.Excellent work!
Thanks for posting.

Dear Ram Sir,
It is great to see such colorful incredible creatures & biodiversity of this part of subcontinent. Some how in so many years I had never seen such beauties around Delhi or they were so well camouflaged ! They definitely look like piece of fine stoned jewelry. I have yet to understand what made them select this poisonous plant on the weekend. TFS.

  • Great 
  • NinaM Gold Star Critiquer [C: 773 W: 3 N: 1157] (4077)
  • [2008-06-22 11:37]

Bonjour Ram, no wonder Indian saris have such wonderful colours, look at that insect, it is amazingly colourful! We don't have such grasshoppers here! BEautiful indeed and your notes are quite interesting too whereas this plant looks beautiful and its story is fascinating. Great shot Ram, I like the pov and it is a nice glance at the inside of this beauty... the flower I mean ;-) Thank you!


Hi Ram, great capture of wonderful strange grashopper, splendid sharpness and fantastic colors, fine details, very well done, ciao Silvio

Hello Ram Sir,
Very intresting and colourful grasshoper and you have capture it very well,i never seen before.
nice composition and pov with perfect sharpness.

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-06-23 14:48]

What a beauty!!
I've never seen anything like it!
Wonderful colours, superb composition, pin-sharp, great DOF.

Very well done!

Cheers Ram,

  • Great 
  • Maite Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 998 W: 65 N: 1270] (5199)
  • [2008-07-02 3:56]

Hello Ram
How rich and beautiful colors Nature displays there in India! What a wonderful place your country for a photographer! I really love it as I love this picture. How curious and beautiful these grasshopers and how beautiful the plant. Excellent shot my friend.
Thank you very much for sharing.
Have a nice day.

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