Thursday 1 December 2011: Hopper relations
First of all, thankyou so much to everyone for the tremendous response to my 100th blip birthday, I feel humbled. The blip even made it to that great enigma called spotlight, although I missed the event because of my travels. I am sure that some of you thought that I had done the ton and then disappeared, sorry, no such luck. I had to do a passport VISA run to Malaysia so was AWOL for three days. I will be back blipping although the blips will be weak, it will mainly be about the write-up as it was quite a saga.
Today was my first day back in the grove. It was a late start due to an early morning shower. The sky was overcast with the occasional ray of sun and the humidity was off the scale. Because of these conditions, the mosquitoes were murderous. The repellent did it's job but I did take three hits on my camera hand, after washing to prevent soiling the hardware.
I was hoping for something spectacular to suck you all back to my journal but it just didn't happen. There were plenty of dragons but I couldn't get close. Same goes for a couple of new species of butterfly and the six or so lizards that I spotted, including the green crested that I posted a couple of weeks ago. I did capture some images of one lizard but they were not as good as my previous blip of the same creature. Duplication is acceptable as long as it is a move forward.
In addition to the lizard, I collected five different hopper shots, an orange spot-less ladybird and a brown darter butterfly, but decided to go for this pair of hoppers for its uniqueness. I thought at the time that I spotted them, that something was not quite right, thinking different species. I then noticed that they were not actually mating. Still, a very strange sight, so I took a bunch of shots. Back at the lab it emerged that they were the same species but I have never noticed a brown in this particular type. I blipped a mating pair of greens 19th of last month. Very strange.
The biggest revelation of the session was made as I was photographing a grass hopper with a missing rear leg. It is generally assumed that hoppers make the clicking noises by rubbing their rear legs together. Not so, or this one had developed the skill of clicking with one leg. What I observed was that the clicking sound was made as it extended it's leg. Some how, the thigh and calf latch to each other and as the latch is separated or broken, the sound is made. I will be paying more attention to clicking hoppers in the future, but it really needs high speed macro video to confirm this idea.