Author Topic: What we do in the dark  (Read 1295 times)

Offline hrcoleman66

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What we do in the dark
« on: March 24, 2021, 08:19:15 PM »
Apart form scale modelling, working, bird and landscape photography, model engineering etc, etc, my wife and I have 18 exotic parrots (all bred in captivity) and we like to collect and breed insects.
Here are a few family portraits of our pet mantids. 
I rescued the first one from our letter box where the eggs were laid.  Most of her siblings got eaten by spiders.  She was about 3mm long when I found her.  Her name is Miss Mantis. 


This one is Mr Mantis, we think he's the same species as Miss Mantis and about the same age, so he might be a sibling (we found him one night when we were out doing some Astrophograghy.  They are both False Garden Mantis.


This one is called Idi.  He's a South African Mantis.  A pest species in Australia.


Oh, and here are the images I captured that night from the drive way.  Eta Carinae Complex (which is a southern hemisphere object only (quite near to the Southern Cross).


And the Large Magellanic Cloud (which is the closest neighboring Galaxy to us and incorporates the Triffid Nebula).


Cheers,

Hugh
« Last Edit: March 24, 2021, 08:25:28 PM by hrcoleman66 »

Offline Alexis

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Re: What we do in the dark
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2021, 11:33:17 PM »
I knew you are into photography but wasn't aware of the insect breeding . They are a cool looking insect and we do have them in some parts of Canada , more back east .

Are they hard to breed ?

Excellent photos of the night sky  :)


Alexis
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Offline hrcoleman66

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Re: What we do in the dark
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2021, 04:59:30 AM »
Hi Terri,
As far as mantids go, I have no idea.  These three are from the wild.  Most insects of this type will lay eggs though, when they reach sexual maturity.  Even without a male present.  The female will reproduce through homeogenisis (my wife tells me).  Certainly our spiny leaf insects did.  We have two female offspring from Shelly’s eggs that she laid before we introduced Sven to her.  When females lay eggs that are not fertilized, they will only produce female offspring.

Cheers,

Hugh
« Last Edit: March 25, 2021, 08:10:43 AM by hrcoleman66 »

Offline gbrivio

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Re: What we do in the dark
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2021, 03:31:25 PM »
Very interesting, mantis are rarely seen here in northern Italy and night sky is severely affected by light pollution. Do you have a motorized support for your camera? Pictures are really good.
Ciao
Giuseppe

Offline Edo

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Re: What we do in the dark
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2021, 04:32:16 PM »
wow!
beautiful images!
those mantis are superb!
ciao
edo

Offline PrzemoL

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Re: What we do in the dark
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2021, 09:23:44 PM »
Just gorgeous. And spectacular photography. Enjoyed them very much.
Ash nazg durbatuluk, ash nazg gimbatul,
Ash nazg thrakatuluk, agh burzum-ishi krimpatul.

Offline hrcoleman66

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Re: What we do in the dark
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2021, 06:53:03 AM »
Very interesting, mantis are rarely seen here in northern Italy and night sky is severely affected by light pollution. Do you have a motorized support for your camera? Pictures are really good.
Ciao
Giuseppe

Thanks Giusppe.

Yes. I use an Equatorial motorised mount (I have a second hand HEQ5 and my wife has a calibrated step motored EQ6).
These are both multiple stacks of 40 plus 30 second exposures at a 300mm equivalent focal length.

Cheers,

Hugh

Offline gbrivio

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Re: What we do in the dark
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2021, 06:33:05 PM »
Good, I have an old Great Polaris but only the polar axis is motorized. Digital photography also makes things better as it's not affected by reciprocity failure that was so disappointing with film photography. Maybe one night I can try and come back to take some pictures of sky objects.  :D
Thank you for the tips.
Ciao
Giuseppe

Offline hrcoleman66

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Re: What we do in the dark
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2021, 07:24:58 AM »
Good, I have an old Great Polaris but only the polar axis is motorized. Digital photography also makes things better as it's not affected by reciprocity failure that was so disappointing with film photography. Maybe one night I can try and come back to take some pictures of sky objects.  :D
Thank you for the tips.
Ciao
Giuseppe

Polar axis is really all you need!  Then correct alignment...

Cheers,

Hugh

Offline Monty

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Re: What we do in the dark
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2021, 12:50:39 AM »
This is a very interesting and informative thread, Hugh! I do love your celestial photographs - amazing and just giving us that feeling of very, very insignificant beings in a vast universe... I can only chuckle when I see that South African Mantis - so many in our garden here in Somerset West (Very, very far south - near Cape Town), I have lots and lots of these in the garden! I'm tempted to send you a box full... but I won't! They do help to keep our insect population down. We are also aware in SA of the aliens that take over from our own wildlife - like the English Grey Squirrel pushing out the African ground squirrel. And I couldn't help but laugh about the title of your thread, here in SA due to numerous factors, we have rolling power failures just about every day now... A SA joke: So what do we do in the dark? We wait for the power to come back on!! Regards, and thanks for the amusing interlude! Marc.

Offline WD

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Re: What we do in the dark
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2021, 11:37:58 PM »
Great photos Hugh!  Thanks for posting them.
I had no idea that Mantis' were considered a pest/invasive species in Australia. Here in the southeastern U.S. we love ours as they prey on gardens pests, etc.

I have long been fascinated by them, and am thankful they're as small as they are because they look at me as if I were on the menu. :)

WD

Offline hrcoleman66

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Re: What we do in the dark
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2021, 03:55:01 PM »
Great photos Hugh!  Thanks for posting them.
I had no idea that Mantis' were considered a pest/invasive species in Australia. Here in the southeastern U.S. we love ours as they prey on gardens pests, etc.

I have long been fascinated by them, and am thankful they're as small as they are because they look at me as if I were on the menu. :)

WD

Hiya WD. 

It's only the South African Mantis that is a pest here.  The False Garden Mantis is beloved and allowed to play in our gardens to their hearts content.

Turns out Mr Mantis was also a South African variant.  He and the female will not be allowed to breed.

Miss Mantis is not looking too well at the moment.  Not sure what is the matter, but I suspect she may be gearing up to lay eggs, which also means that she is near the end of her life.  A bit sad, but that's the circle I guess.

In the mean time, our Spiny Leaf Insects have been hatching at an incredible rate, about two new ones each day.  Most of them will go t new homes.  Our female laid about a thousand eggs, so if only 10 or 20 percent of them survive then we'll have more than we could ever accommodate.

Cheers,

Hugh

 

Offline WD

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Re: What we do in the dark
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2021, 09:08:13 AM »
Why is it that the SA Mantis is a pest and the others aren't?  Is it a particular behavior?
Fascinating subject.

WD

Offline hrcoleman66

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Re: What we do in the dark
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2021, 03:31:01 PM »
The SA variant is quite aggressive and likes to eat our local species.  We feed all of ours pin head crickets that we buy at the local pet store.  Just chuck a couple in the enclosure to run around and the Mantis does what it does best.  Who knows how the SA mantis got here.

https://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2013/11/27/3899216.htm?site=newsradio&

A lot of species have been introduced into Australia over the past 240 years or so (Rabbits, Foxes, Etc are a very damaging pest); Cain Toads were introduced to combat the Sugar Cain beetle that was introduced for...  I dunno... Anyway, the Cain Toads are horrible creatures that are poisonous to eat and so kill any animals that might catch them, and also eat other insects aside from the SCB indiscriminately. 

But I digress.

My Blue Tongue Skink also likes the odd Cricket, but prefers Meal Worms or garden snails.  We feed her mostly chopped veg though.

Cheers,

Hugh

Offline Borsos

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Re: What we do in the dark
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2021, 08:52:08 PM »
Apart form scale modelling, working, bird and landscape photography, model engineering etc, etc, my wife and I have 18 exotic parrots (all bred in captivity) and we like to collect and breed insects.
Here are a few family portraits of our pet mantids. 
I rescued the first one from our letter box where the eggs were laid.  Most of her siblings got eaten by spiders.  She was about 3mm long when I found her.  Her name is Miss Mantis. 


Cheers,

Hugh

Allright then, stop this now. It’s no fun anymore, my mother-in-law is really upset and demands to remove all of her photos taken without her knowledge immediately from the internet.

Andreas

P. S.: You better do what she says. We are still looking for poor old father-in-law…
"Deux armées aux prises, c'est une grande armée qui se suicide."
Barbusse.
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Remarque.