Nature's Place

Rainbow Wanderer ll






I was in the rainforest and not much was showing up so I put a tiny drop of honey on a rotting wooden post to see what would happen and the beetle, a beautiful darkling in a rainbow coat, showed up. Then the ants showed up and the beetle ran away. It got to the rim of the rotting post and seemed to think twice about running and turned around to go back to the honey. Honey must be total nectar to the small creatures, bees being so protective of it.

All the while I was shooting what I was seeing, from the best angle I could for DOF and aligning both creatures at the same time. A little exercise you could say. I took many shots and then decided on the arrangement to suit the story. The story was real but I couldn’t get the shots to tell it as it happened.

When the beetle turned round to go back to the honey there was an ant waiting for it and it stopped it at each turn. It was at first cowed by the ant but didn’t give up on the honey. The ant even turned its behind to squirt formic acid at it to begin with but still the beetle came on. The beetle persisted passively and the ant gave eventually way until the beetle was back near the honey and the same ant appeared to be confronting it with a warning – ‘watch out mate’.

Slowly but surely the beetle and the ants came to an unusual understanding and made a meal of the honey together, one on either side of the treasure. I suspect the ants just didn’t want a fight for the honey as there was enough to go round and better not to risk injury or death – survival being foremost of any creature.

That’s instinct working intelligently.

Mark Berkery ……. Don’t forget to CLICK on any picture to enlarge it in a new tab