Nicky Bay / mediadrumworld.com

Fluorescent Bugs

By Rebecca Drew

THESE unrecognisable critters have been put under the spotlight to reveal their true colours which are usually invisible to the naked human eye.

The eye-popping images show the beautiful side of various critters appearing to glow in the dark after being exposed to ultraviolet light. The series of images have exposed luminous blue scorpions, spiny orb weavers, spiders and net-winged beetle larva.

Nicky Bay / mediadrumworld.com
Nicky Bay / mediadrumworld.com

Nicky Bay / mediadrumworld.com
Nicky Bay / mediadrumworld.com

Nicky Bay / mediadrumworld.com
Nicky Bay / mediadrumworld.com

Another image shows fluorescent yellow and green stink bug nymphs crowding together on a leaf.

Nicky Bay / mediadrumworld.com
Nicky Bay / mediadrumworld.com

The ultraviolet pictures were skilfully captured by software engineer and macro photographer, Nicky Bay (38) from Singapore. Nicky took the pictures using a Nikon D800 and a tripod, a setup he has used for over four years.

Nicky Bay / mediadrumworld.com
Nicky Bay / mediadrumworld.com

Nicky Bay / mediadrumworld.com
Nicky Bay / mediadrumworld.com

“I’m passionate about capturing parts of nature that most other people overlook and I am always looking for different ways of presenting them,” said Nicky.

“I seek to showcase nature’s most interesting creations using an enthralling show and tell for my audience.

Nicky Bay / mediadrumworld.com
Nicky Bay / mediadrumworld.com

Nicky Bay / mediadrumworld.com
Nicky Bay / mediadrumworld.com

“It’s like magic to be able to reveal radical colours on invertebrates by using a different wavelength of light.

“It’s important to not discount ugly or dull subjects because they are all unique and some can blossom into real jewels under ultraviolet light.”

Nicky Bay / mediadrumworld.com
Nicky Bay / mediadrumworld.com

Nicky Bay / mediadrumworld.com
Nicky Bay / mediadrumworld.com

Only a few arthropods fluoresce. Some orders or families have better fluorescence, such as scorpions, crab spiders and beetle eyes. The reasons behind this haven’t been fully explored but it is thought that in scorpions, compounds in their exoskeleton can absorb and then re-emit UV light so that it is visible to humans.

Nicky Bay / mediadrumworld.com
Nicky Bay / mediadrumworld.com

“Ultraviolet photography has been traditionally practiced on flowers and scorpions so I thought we should try it on every creature,” added Nicky.

“Most of the work is to be able to actually find a suitable subject that fluoresces well and stays still enough, I then expose the subject to ultraviolet, and sometimes fill the shot with a low-powered flash for more colour in the scene.

Nicky Bay / mediadrumworld.com
Nicky Bay / mediadrumworld.com

Nicky Bay / mediadrumworld.com
Nicky Bay / mediadrumworld.com

“Few others in the world practise ultraviolet macro photography on invertebrates. It brings a refreshing view to these beautiful creatures.

“When people see this they say wow, because they’ve never seen this before.”

Nicky Bay / mediadrumworld.com
Nicky Bay / mediadrumworld.com

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