Englishman in Bandung

By Vodkaman

Wrestling ants

I spotted these two ants and quickly grabbed a shot before they split. But, they didn’t. They wrestled on and on, moving round in circles.

Tedious to photograph, as I had to follow them around, continually changing my position. This was made considerably easier by the monopod, giving me stability and mobility, not to mention saving my arms and back from the weight of the equipment.

I knew from past experience that ants are a nightmare to get a decent image from, a combination of their dark colours, poor lighting, continual movement, volume giving depth of field problems and of course the usual overhead viewing angle which rarely works. This was going to be a numbers game and I felt lucky to get the one shot out of sixty images.

This pair were acting out on a leaf about waist high, so I was able to kneel down and solve the viewing angle problem. The ‘same height’ angle seems to add drama to the scene, giving the viewer a ‘bug’s eye view’ of the action.

I was also hoping to be able to figure out back at the lab, what exactly was going on, but could not see anything obvious. They were not swapping spit, they were not overly aggressive. They mutually gripped each other by the mandibles and tugged at each other. I have never seen this behaviour before.

I now need a knee massage and a lie down.


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