Tuesday 6 September 2011

Thirsty Ant

I have a bit of a thing for ants. I realise that sounds a little strange, but I do find them fascinating, particularly their complex social structures, their intriguing symbiotic relationship with aphids, their impressive work ethic and their remarkable physical strength.

I therefore look for opportunities to photograph ants whenever possible. Recently I noticed that there were lots of small Black Ants (Lasius niger, approx 5mm in length) climbing a very tall foxglove plant in my garden. I'm not quite sure what they were doing, but I presume they were feeding on sugary secretions from the leaves and stem. Some were wandering around the foxglove flowers themselves so I tried to photograph them on a flower with pink petals in the background. I was in luck when this one stopped to drink.


Taken with a Canon 60D with MP-E 65mm macro lens

and here's another shot taken at higher magnification:

Of all the images that I have taken this summer, I think the first one above is probably my favourite. I doubt many would share this view, I know others tend to prefer prettier images of butterflies or dragonflies, but it's so hard to get all the elements to come together when the subject is as small as this. Plus I have a bit of a thing for ants, as I may have mentioned. :)


  1. Cracking stuff as always. Your building up a reputaion as a bit of an ant photographer master after the WPOTY photo!

    Now I wonder if there isn a way to mount a MPE-65 on a Pentax body...

  2. thanks Neil!

    Sadly, I don't think there is a way to mount Canon lenses on Pentax bodies. There is an adapter available to do the opposite I believe (i.e. Pentax lenses on Canon bodies) but not the other way around. I would consider adding a Raynox DCR-150 or DCR-250 lens to a regular macro lens. This should increase your magnification quite a bit (particularly the 250) and image quality will still be high. They're available from Amazon for around £40 I think.