New for #WPY54: Congratulations to @christianwappl for this magical picture of a glowing firefly larva!
By 1am, the forest in Thailand’s Peninsular Botanic Garden was quiet, but in the leaf-litter, its nightlife still shone. The star of the show was a large firefly larva, about 8cm long, which emitted a continuous glow from four light organs at its rear. Fireflies spend most of their lives as larvae, feeding mainly on slugs and snails.
This one can even tackle invasive African land snails many times its own size. Its glow – the result of a chemical reaction in its light organs – is most likely a warning to predators that it is unpalatable (whereas, the flashing lights of adult fireflies are for courtship). Framing his composition in almost complete darkness, guessing the direction the larva would take, Christian used a long (33-second) exposure, with a burst of flash at the end, to reveal the larva apparently blazing a trail through the night.
Image: Trailblazer by Christian Wappl, Austria.
Highly commended 2018, Behaviour: Invertebrates.
We can't wait to see this image glowing from one of our exquisite lightboxes. Book your tickets now for the new exhibition at the @natural_history_museum in London, opening on 19 October, via the link in our bio.
#WPY #WildlifePhotographerOfTheYear #NaturePhotography #WildlifePhotography #Nature #Wildlife #Photography #Conservation #Invertebrates #Firefly #Fireflies #Thailand #ChristianWappl #Exhibition #NaturePhotos #PhotoOfTheDay #PhotographyCompetition #PhotographyContest #NaturalHistoryMuseum #London #Museum