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Photo Information
Copyright: Bob Harrison (BobH) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 40 W: 8 N: 192] (650)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2004-09-05
Categories: Insects
Exposure: f/3.5, 1/1000 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-07-01 3:27
Viewed: 10683
Points: 0
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The mussels of my previous post represent one biological strategy for defense from predators. This post illustrates a totally different one.

Camouflage among insects is well known and frequently photographed, but also is often missed in the wild because it is so effective. This day, while hiking on top of a small mountain, my son almost stepped on the cricket in the photo. When it flew to avoid getting squashed, I tracked it and pointed it out to him. As the photo shows, it is well hidden right in the open. The inset is the full frame, reduced in size, with arrows added and PhotoShop darkening of the cricket to make it obvious.

The surface on which the cricket is resting contains lichens (light green), mosses (dark green and brown), granite pebbles, small sticks, and various other natural debris. This assortment of materials occurs mostly on flat granite ledges during the early stages of biological succession. The underlying granite was scraped bare during the last ice age and is slowly building soil capable of supporting woody plants. This environment is fairly common in parts of coastal Maine, so this species likely has a substantial presence in the state and anywhere nearby with similar post-glacial features.

tech notes
no modification of the main frame; inset only as noted above
lighting conditions were bright midday sun
cricket body length roughly 3 cm

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