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The Assassin

The Assassin
Photo Information
Copyright: Gerhard Theron (gerhardt) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1936 W: 244 N: 4106] (11620)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2004-11-24
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon EOS 300D, Tamron AF70-300mm LD, Digital ISO 100, Kenko Extension tube (36mm)
Exposure: f/36.0, 30 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Things in and around my house. [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2004-11-25 10:40
Viewed: 6733
Points: 28
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Millipede Assassin Bug (Ectrichodia crux)

These critters are 22mm in length and unmistakable shiny black with dull yellow thorax incised with a black cross. They rest during the day and feed at night on an exclusive diet of millipedes. They are very common and found through out SA in a variety of habitats.

Family: Reduviidae (Assassin Bugs)

They have a powerful recurved beak, the tip which is rubbed against a rigged groove under the body to produce sound. They are ambush predators that move slowly towards their prey before rushing out and grabbing with the fore legs, injecting a secretion from the beak that has a quick paralytic action. The prey is sucked dry. Their bite is very painful to humans, but no species in South Africa bites humans or mammals. (Unlike some of Ricardo’s critters in South America which take blood meals from humans and transmit Chagas’ disease) A number of species specializes in certain prey types, like our friend here in the photo.

In retrospect I saw a lot of centipedes and millipedes coming out after the weekends rain… no wonder that I find this predator then. Isn’t it amazing how little we know of our predacious insects? Besides looking rather nice, I think this one has a cool name.

Luc, extramundi, ellis49, RAP, marhowie, PDP, Robbrown, AndyB, red45, Lourens, Kirsten has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To marhowie: Longer exposure...gerhardt 5 11-26 08:18
To ellis49: 30 seconds...gerhardt 1 11-25 12:12
To extramundi: 30 seconds...gerhardt 1 11-25 12:10
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Critiques [Translate]

Am I reading well? F36 - 30 seconds? WOW
First I wish I had F36 for my macros.
Second I suppose there was no wind at all to move that leaf. This is a DOF, all the frame is perfect and detailed, the blacks are perfect, more considering that there are quite clear places in the leaf and insect. Congratulations.

Great macro Gerhard
30 sec, did you use glue to hold the bug ? ;-)
Great DOF , good details and colours.
Very good note.
Great work.

  • Great 
  • willie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1023 W: 61 N: 648] (2083)
  • [2004-11-25 12:04]

Her sure looks like an assasin. very good macro Gerhardt. Nice colours and good note. Well done

I think the bug was very busy to stand so many seconds without to move! :)

Very nice macro shot! Good details and colors!

  • Great 
  • RAP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2524 W: 345 N: 2373] (7405)
  • [2004-11-25 12:33]

He leido tu respuesta a Felipe... pero lo importante es que con tu equipo alcanzas F36!!!
Espectucular perspectiva con perfecto foco y agudeza.
Una gran captura para este assassin tan especial.

I have read your answer to Felipe... but the important thing is that with your equipment you reach F36!!!
Espectucular perspective with perfect focus and sharpness.
A great capture for this assassin so special.

Gerhard, I also read your reply. I'm not sure I understand what the longer exposure in the lowlight after flash did. Whatever it was the results are fantastic! Very well done!!

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2004-11-25 16:36]

Gerhard, very nice. He looks to have a bit of damage he's lost the tarsus on his front leg. So something tried tried to thwart this assassin. Great shot, and very good note too. Thanks for posting.

As I have just said to somebody else with digital its well worth experimenting and reviewing and making adjustments on the fly, this one seems to work really well. goodclean image and great notes.

Thirty seconds? Gerhard, the assassin seems a little sleepy...

You know, just kidding. I read your reply to Felipe. Really great shot and thanks for the explanation.


  • Great 
  • japie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1814 W: 100 N: 1904] (5187)
  • [2004-11-26 2:08]

I have not seen one of these guys before and will be looking out for them from now on. The sharpness is stunning and I also like the long exposures - it just adds a bit of extra quality to the shot.

Very well done.

  • Great 
  • AndyB Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1366 W: 32 N: 1351] (3982)
  • [2004-11-26 2:49]

A very good capture.
Excellent detail and composition.
A great name for a bug and its the first time I've seen one.
A good shot,well done.

30 seconds that's a long?
Great shot very good details.
Well done

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9100] (31094)
  • [2004-11-26 6:11]

30 seconds for insect is eternity, maybe it was dead :-) ? Great macro though, very good DOF and details.

Very nice macro, Gerhard. ? not quite as sharp as some of your other postings but very good shot never the less.

nice macro!good details and colours, compo is good too.
well done!

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