NEXT GALLERY: Animal habitat shortlist

    Next up, see our shortlist of the best photos from the 2016 AG Nature Photographer of the Year Animal Habitat Category here.


    Clash of the Titans

    Giant cuttlefish, Sepia apama

    An unexplained and dramatic giant cuttlefish decline during the winters of 2013 and 2014 raised concerns about the Spencer Gulf’s breeding aggregation. Fortunately, they returned in full force during 2015. This pair embraced at sunrise in a spectacular mating display to symbolise a secure future for this breathtaking event.

    Point Lowly, Whyalla, South Australia

    Nikon D800, Sigma 15 mm, 1/30, f/14, ISO 100, Ikelite housing, twin DS161 strobes

    Photo Credit: Justin Gilligan, New South Wales

    Ring of Death

    Green ant, Oecophylla smaragdina

    I was amazed at the green ants’ resourcefulness whilst staying in tropical Queensland. A wall light was attracting hundreds of insects each evening and the ants had learnt to catch them, dismember them and carry them back to their nest. There was almost a limitless supply of food!

    Airlie Beach, Queensland

    Canon EOS 1DX, Canon EF 100 mm f/2.8L macro IS USM, 1/250, f/10, ISO 500, handheld, Canon 430 EX II flashgun

    Photo Credit: Bret Charman, United Kingdom

    Glaucus Atlanticus

    Blue glaucus, Glaucus atlanticus

    I found these beautiful floating pelagic nudibranchs in a low tide rockpool early one morning, along with hundreds more. They had been washed there overnight during onshore winds and these two looked like they were squaring up for a fight!

    Port Kembla, Shellharbour New South Wales

    Nikon D810, Nikkor 105 mm F2.8 micro, 1/320, f/32, ISO 64, 1x Inon Z220 strobes full power and fibre optic snoot, Aquatica Digital AD810 with low profile macro lens port

    Photo Credit: Matty Smith, New South Wales


    Spotted seahare, Aplysia dactylomela

    A spotted seahare observing its reflection at the water’s surface captured during a night snorkel off Daydream Island. It was amazing to see such an unusual swimming technique, as it used its wing-like appendages like giant pectoral fins. If I had to describe it, I would say awkwardly graceful.

    Daydream Island, Queensland

    Nikon D7100, Sigma 17-70 macro, 1/160, f/14, ISO 160, 2x Sea & Sea strobes, Sea & Sea underwater housing, handheld on snorkel

    Photo Credit: Johnny Gaskell, Queensland

    Mud Skipping

    Mudskippers, Gobiidae

    I found these irascible and territorial mudskippers (Gobiidae family), leaping around in the mud, to be more attention grabbing than the thousands of shorebirds that flocked around them on the mudflats of the bay.

    Roebuck Bay, Broome, Western Australia

    Canon EOS-1D X, Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM, 1/6400, f/5.6, ISO 1600, handheld

    Photo Credit: Georgina Steytler, Western Australia

    Lunch time

    Rainbow bee-eaters, Merops ornatus

    After many weeks of hiding under a big old bull ant infested peppercorn tree watching the rainbow bee-eaters (Merops ornatus) land on this dead branch, I finally captured one as it caught a bee fly (Bombyliidae)!

    near Echuca, Victoria

    Canon EOS 7D Mk II, EF 400 mm f/5.6L USM, 1/2000, f/5.6, ISO 250, tripod

    Photo Credit: Mary Hartney, Victoria

    I Can Feel You!

    White-faced heron, Egretta (Ardea) novaehollandiae

    This white-faced heron (Egretta (Ardea) novaehollandiae) had been feeding all around me for about an hour during a very low tide. Eventually it started to preen and it was backlit by the sun. The beautiful light and wing stretch allowed me to see the heron in ways I don’t normally.

    Peel Inlet, Erskine, Western Australia

    Canon 1Dx, Canon 500 mm f/4L + Canon 1.4x teleconvertor, 1/1250, f/5.6, ISO 1000, handheld, +2.3Ev

    Photo Credit: Les Imgrund, Western Australia

    Final gathering

    Ladybird, Coccinellidae

    Known for their voracious appetite of aphids, ladybird adults are often seen, but their larvae less so. Their larvae are a far cry from the adult form, though their shape is characteristic. These larvae have just hatched from the eggs, gathering one final time before they disperse.

    Bensville, New South Wales

    Canon EOS 5D Mk II, Canon MPE 65 mm 1-5x, 1/100, f/14, ISO 2000

    Photo Credit: Alan Kwok, New South Wales

    You can’t see me…

    Red-capped plover, Charadrius (Charadrius) ruficapillus

    I was lying on the mud photographing a male plover and a few days-old chick, who was looking for food a few metres from its father. The male spotted a white-bellied sea eagle, called what sounded like an alarm, and the chick responded immediately, running frantically to hide underneath dad’s belly.

    Lake Wollumboola, New South Wales

    Canon EOS 1D Mk IV, Canon EF 800mm f5.6 L IS, 1/2000, f/7.1, ISO 800, tripod

    Photo Credit: Ofer Levy, New South Wales


    Humpback whale, Megaptera novaeangliae

    Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) mother and calf. Every year, humpback whales migrate thousands of kilometres from Antarctica to Tonga to give birth in the warm waters. In this picture, a mother tenderly supports her young to the surface so that it can breathe and rest.

    Kingdom of Tonga

    Canon 5 D Mk III, Canon 16-35 mm f2.8, 1/160, f/6.3, ISO 320

    Photo Credit: Vanessa Mignon, New South Wales

    Feeding Frenzy

    Buller’s albatross, Thalassarche bulleri

    A group of four Buller’s albatross squabbling over lunch. The image was shot with a slow downward vertical pan as the birds surfed the face of the swell.

    Wollongong, New South Wales

    Canon EOS Mk IV, Canon EF 70-300 mm f/4-5.6, 1/15, f/16, ISO 100, handheld

    Photo Credit: Graham Morgan, New South Wales

    Piercing Headache

    Orange-eyed tree frogs, Litoria xanthomera

    Several male orange-eyed tree frogs (Litoria xanthomera) were pronouncing their prowess around an old water-filled car tyre, attempting to attract females. Some of these frogs enticed the wrong kind, attracting bloodthirsty female mosquitoes in search of a meal crucial for future egg development.

    Cedar Bay National Park, Queensland

    Nikon D7000, Tamron 60 mm f/2.0, 1/250, f/40, ISO 100, 2x Nikon SB-600 speedlights remotely fired from on-camera flash, handheld

    Photo Credit: Matthew McIntosh, Queensland

AG Nature Photographer of the Year 2016: Animal behaviour shortlist

By AG STAFF | May 25, 2016

The Animal Behaviour category asked for photographs of animals engaging in natural activities. These photos will be exhibited at the South Australian Museum in Adelaide (18 August to 3 October) and the Australian Museum in Sydney (19 August to 9 October).