SUMMER SHOWERS

    GREY-HEADED FLYING-FOXES
    Pteropus poliocephalus

    Grey-headed flying-foxes use their wings as raincoats to keep dry during
    summer downpours. A keystone species, and one of Australia’s most effective long distance pollinators and seed dispersers, they are listed as vulnerable by the IUCN. Major threats include continued habitat destruction, camp disturbance and increasing heat stress events.

    Yarra Bend Park, Kew, Victoria

    Nikon D5, Nikon 400mm f2.8, 1/1250, f/8.0, ISO 12, 800, Gitzo
    mountaineer tripod with a Really Right Stuff ball head

    Photo Credit: Doug Gimesy, Victoria

    DEATH MOSAIC

    TERMITES
    Unidentified species

    Following the first big spring rain, the sky fills with thousands of flying termites on the hunt for new territory. Only a very small proportion of these termites survive. This image shows dozens of flying termites that have been trapped after landing in the water of a slow-moving creek.

    Bega, New South Wales

    Canon 7D Mk II, EF70–200mm f2.8 L IS II USM, 1/160, f/4.5, ISO 320, handheld

    Photo Credit: Harrison Warne, New South Wales

    FIN WHALE’S DEMISE

    FIN WHALE
    Balaenoptera physalus

    The fin whale is sighted regularly in this region; seeing one beached, however, is rare. The whale sits less than 5m from shore and 100m from residential homes, giving whale researchers access to an unusual occurrence for this species. Bronze whalers and great whites feasted over the remains before removal.

    Cheynes Beach, Albany, Western Australia

    DJI Phantom 4 Pro Drone, 24mm, 1/500, f/5.6, ISO 100, 118m high, filmed with permission DPAW

    Photo Credit: Mat Beetson, Western Australia

    MACABRE BEAUTY

    GOLDEN ORB-WEAVING SPIDER
    Nephila edulis

    Early one morning I was shocked to discover that the female golden orb-weaving spider (Nephila edulis) I had been photographing from a ladder
    had ensnared a large gecko in her web. Her web was set high (2–3m) above
    the ground between the outer branches of a bottlebrush.

    Adelaide, South Australia

    Canon EOS 6D, Tamron 28–300mm f3.5–6.3 Di VC PZD 300mm,
    1/250, f/6.3, ISO 2500, handheld

    Photo Credit: Peter Battye, South Australia

    EVIL COUSIN

    CRESTED HORN SHARK, Heterodontus galeatus

    A crested horn shark feeds on the egg case of the related Port Jackson shark.
    Each spring Port Jackson sharks gather on shallow reefs to breed and hide up to
    10 eggs. Crested horn sharks make the most of the opportunity, searching the
    rocky crevices for an easy meal.

    Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve, Manly, New South Wales

    Sony NEX7 (mirrorless), Sony 10–18mm, 1/160, f/8, ISO 200,
    INON strobes, handheld, Nauticam underwater housing

    Photo Credit: Pete McGee, New South Wales

    GRAPHIC FLUTTERER AND SUNDOG

    GRAPHIC FLUTTERER
    Rhyothemis graphiptera

    My favourite dragonfly is Rhyothemis graphiptera. I was photographing a flight of them when a parhelion formed – a rainbow around the sun. I angled my camera to catch its reflection in the waters of Lake MacDonald.

    Lake MacDonald, Sunshine Coast, Queensland

    Canon 6D II, Canon300mm f2.8 L, 1/1600, f/2.8, ISO 200, handheld

    Photo Credit: Raoul Slater, Queensland

    GULL ATTACK

    SILVER GULL
    Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae
    CRESTED TERN
    Thalasseus bergii

    Crested terns gather on the beach with youngsters learning the art of courting. The male catches a fish and returns, squawking loudly – hoping to interest a female. Predacious seagulls mix among the terns and often snatch fish from inexperienced youngsters. This young tern kept its fish with some artful flying.

    Hastings Point, New South Wales

    Canon EOS 7D Mk II, Canon EF 100–400mm f4.5–6 L IS USM II,
    1/1600, f/7.1, ISO 200, handheld

    Photo Credit: Sally Hinton, New South Wales

    CLASH OF THE CRABS

    BLUE SOLDIER CRAB
    Mictyris longicarpus

    The blue soldier crab is seen by many as an eruption of scampering feet along a seemingly desolate tidal mudflat. But looking closer, we see these little soldiers emerge on every outgoing tide to battle for their muddy territory and to compete for a female to carry their next generation.

    Nudgee Wetlands, Queensland

    Nikon D500, Nikkor 200–500mm f5.6, 1/3200, f/6.3, ISO 720, handheld

    Photo Credit: Samuel Horton, Queensland

    THE HEAT RUN

    HUMPBACK WHALES, Megaptera novaeangliae
    DOLPHINS, unidentified species

    The heat run is the ultimate wildlife encounter – multiple whales competing for a female.
    The chase can last for hours or even days and males can display bubble netting, open mouth gulping, physical contact, loud acoustic sounds, and breaching. Even after 16 years documenting humpback behaviour in the region, it is still truly heart-thumping and adrenaline-pumping action.

    Tonga, South Pacific

    Canon 1DX Mk II, Canon 8–15mm fisheye, 1/320, f/8, ISO 200

    Photo Credit: Scott Portelli, New South Wales

    NEW LIFE IN A FAR-OFF WORLD

    DEMOSPONGIAE SPONGE WITH COMMENSAL
    ENTOPROCTA/KAMPTOZOA

    Smoking like a volcano on an alien planet, and triggered in some
    mysterious way by the full moon, a sponge spawns deep on a reef in
    Indonesia’s Banda Sea. Entoprocts cluster thickly around the vent,
    combing the sponge’s exhalations of water for microscopic particles
    of food.

    Wakatobi National Park, Sulawesi, Indonesia

    Canon 5DSR, 100mm EF 100mm f2.8 L macro IS USM,
    1/180, f/22, ISO 100, two INON Z240 strobes, Nauticam

    Photo Credit: Wade Hughes FRGS, Western Australia

    FIGHTING EGRETS

    GREAT EGRETS
    Ardea alba

    These two egrets were fighting one morning above Budgewoi Lake. The aggressor on the left prevailed and the other turned and flew off. It seems common for the many egrets here to sort out their territory early in the morning before settling down for the day to catch fish on the lake’s broad sandbank.

    Budgewoi Lake, New South Wales

    Canon 7D Mk II, Canon L series 100–400 image stabilised 400mm,
    1/1600, f/7.1, ISO 400, white balance-auto, spot metering, underexposed
    by 0.67, handheld, photographed from a kayak

    Photo Credit: Arthur Leo Roy, New South Wales

    SPRAY

    SUPERB LYREBIRD
    Menura novaehooandiae

    The male superb lyrebird has an unmatched ability to mimic sounds and calls while
    performing an outstanding courtship display. Their turning of moist leaf litter on the
    forest floor in search of food plays a significant role in reducing fuel for bush fire.

    Tathra, New South Wales

    Nikon D800, AF-S Nikkor 16–35mm f4 ED set at 24mm, 1/320, f/9,
    ISO 1600, twin Nikon SB–900 flash units at 1/40,000 sec, Manfrotto tripod, motion camera trigger with delay

    Photo Credit: David Gallan, New South Wales

    NOCTURNAL HUNTRESS

    BULL ANT
    Myrmecia brevinoda, with prey

    Most hunters are driven by hunger, but not the ants. This
    worker will continue to hunt every night of her adult life, yet
    she may never taste her prey. Instead, she delivers it to the
    colony – her brothers, sisters and her mother the queen.

    Bald Rock National Park, New South Wales

    Olympus EM1 Mk II, Olympus 60mm f2.8 macro, Raynox DCR-250 close-up lens, 1/250, f/11, ISO 200, Olympus FL-900R flash, custom 3D-printed diffuser and softbox, manual focus with focus peaking, handheld

    Photo Credit: Dan Jones, Western Australia

    The AG Nature Photographer of the Year Awards are sponsored by Coral Expeditions.

    Photo Credit:

AG Nature Photographer of the Year 2019: Animal behaviour shortlist

By AG STAFF | June 27, 2019

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 from Friday 16 August until Sunday 10 November 2019 and the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences in Sydney from Friday 16 August until Sunday October 20