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

47 Responses

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  1. picpholio said, on 07/06/2022 at 8:32 pm

    Great captures and thanks for the story about the beatle and the ants.

  2. Alex Jones said, on 25/06/2013 at 5:26 am

    Nature always finds an intelligent balance. Great story, great pictures.

    • Mark said, on 25/06/2013 at 9:33 am

      Intelligence is balance and nature is that, with one foot in the void. :)

  3. Claire Bowman said, on 14/06/2013 at 11:55 pm

    Great photos. Accidentally clicked on your link in a story about stingless bees being conducted in Broome . How fortunate for me. Thanks.

  4. Matt said, on 29/05/2013 at 11:39 am

    Nice shots, dude! Good to see another macro photog around here!

    • Mark said, on 29/05/2013 at 4:55 pm

      You got spammed Matt, I rarely even look these days.

      Some very nice stuff on your site too …

  5. sweffling said, on 21/05/2013 at 3:29 am

    Wonderful pictures:) And love the story. Always good to see sharing!

    • Mark said, on 21/05/2013 at 10:30 am

      Thanks S. It was an unusual gathering indeed …

  6. Tammie said, on 19/05/2013 at 7:14 am

    fabulous story
    awesome magical images
    love the sharing circle
    and the wild colors, textures and details of the beetle
    thank you for enticing them and then sharing your experience with us~

  7. Paulo Vasco said, on 19/05/2013 at 12:02 am


  8. Mark said, on 18/05/2013 at 11:05 am

    Thanks for your comments all …

  9. vaweber said, on 18/05/2013 at 9:10 am

    Great pics and story! Thanks for posting!

  10. Maggie Grey (@maggiezlenz) said, on 18/05/2013 at 2:31 am

    Mark, your photos are always amazing! Google originally led me to ‘’ when I googled the Raynox 250 over a year ago and I have been a keen follower since then! Surely this set of photos is not Raynox 250 results? I own the 150 and I believe that the 250 has an even a smaller dof.

    • Mark said, on 18/05/2013 at 10:59 am

      Thanks Maggie. It’s the 150 on the 250 on the FZ50’s zoom lens and gives me a comfortably short and constant working distance of around 2″ – depending on FL used.

  11. shinysmile1 said, on 18/05/2013 at 1:56 am

    BEUTIFUL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Godfried said, on 17/05/2013 at 7:19 pm

    Hoi Mark very nice pictures of survival in nature.
    Can you tell me the name of that rainbow beetle it is a beauty.?
    Wish you a nice weekend.

    • Mark said, on 18/05/2013 at 10:54 am

      Thanks Godfried. It is a beauty but I can’t think of the name just now but if it comes to me …

  13. suzysomething said, on 17/05/2013 at 6:41 pm

    Lovely…the photos, the story, and the moral…sort of a Berkery’s Fables??

    • Mark said, on 18/05/2013 at 10:45 am

      Thanks Sarzy. It’s our nature, actual, instinctual and metaphysical. Only difference is an attachment to emotion …

  14. Martin said, on 17/05/2013 at 6:36 pm

    Wonderful shots and observations as always.

  15. Rachel Creager Ireland said, on 17/05/2013 at 4:52 pm

    Wonder-full story.

  16. Deb said, on 17/05/2013 at 4:29 pm

    What a great looking beetle! Excellent series once again Mark.

  17. lylekrahn said, on 17/05/2013 at 3:56 pm

    Those are wonderful shots.

  18. gretelau2001 said, on 17/05/2013 at 2:58 pm

    Wonderful :D both the story and the pics. It’s the little things that give the most pleasure. The honey was a big thing to these little things that give us pleasure.

    • Mark said, on 18/05/2013 at 10:41 am

      Thanks Lissa. Honey is prized throughout the kingdom … :)

  19. Laura Conowitch said, on 17/05/2013 at 2:41 pm

    Very cool…the story you’ve captured! And the beetle is very good-looking. But for you, I would never know the gorgeous colors of some of these insects. Thank you!

  20. Anthropogen said, on 17/05/2013 at 2:36 pm

    Incredible photos. Great story. What country are these taken in?

    • Mark said, on 18/05/2013 at 10:40 am

      Australia, Brisbane … in a nearby rainforest remnant.

  21. Alice O'Leary said, on 17/05/2013 at 2:12 pm

    Your pictures tell the story very well. I also appreciated your comment about “a little exercise.” I recall trying to photograph a dung beetle pushing his trophy (an enormous bit of pig dung) along the road. I felt quite inadequate to the task of keeping up with the fellow while trying to balance DOF, composition,and that small matter of focus. :)

    Nice post Mark. Thanks.

    • Mark said, on 18/05/2013 at 10:33 am

      Thanks Alice. It is the ll version. Even with shallower dof this was probably easier than doing a dung beetle, less ground to cover.

  22. chicoyaya said, on 17/05/2013 at 2:06 pm

    Love the iridescent rainbow on the beetle… fun story :-)

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