Death in a Pitcher - Sarracenia species


Emerald Beach, Australia

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Artist's Description

While looking at the Bulldog ant caught in my Grandsons Venus Fly Trap I gazed down into some of his Nth American Pitcher Plants. This one (maybe Sarracenia oreophila but not sure) had a friendly face of a roach looking up in an embarrassed stare! Alas it was too late to help.
Sarracenia is a genus of passive pitcher plant carnivores restricted to the south-eastern USA. Most of the species have erect and tubular pitchers. The pitchers are modified leaves. Insects are attracted to the pitchers because they mimic flowers. The pitchers are brightly coloured, and are endowed with sugar-exuding glands called extrafloral nectaries (i.e. nectar sites that are not in flowers). It is significant that the pitcher coloration and distribution of nectaries are usually strongest near the pitcher opening, a dangerous place for incoming insects!

I used to watch insects with my son, when he was young, land on the lip of pitcher plants and they appeared to get drunk before falling in. A one way trip! Now I’m watching the same thing with my grandsons. Always had a fascination for carnivorous plants.

To get the depth of field with this shot I took 8 raw frames, starting with the focus on the insect and working my way up. I also had an off camera flash aimed at the side to give better and consistent light inside. I Stacked, layered and masked these in Photoshop.

Camera Model Canon EOS 7D
Shooting Mode Aperture-Priority AE
Shutter Speed 0.3
Aperture Value 13.0
Metering Mode Evaluative Metering
ISO Speed 100
Auto ISO Speed OFF
Lens EF100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM
Focal Length 100.0 mm
Image Quality RAW
Flash On
Flash Type External E-TTL
E-TTL II flash metering Evaluative flash Shutter curtain sync 1st-curtain sync
(same settings for all 8 exposures)

Artwork Comments

  • Dustinit
  • Normf
  • Ray Clarke
  • Lynn  Gibbons
  • Normf
  • micklyn
  • Normf
  • Trish Meyer
  • Normf
  • Coriena
  • Normf
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desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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