Sizing up, Klaus Tamm, Germany, 2012

Klaus Tamm/Unforgettable Behavior
October 28, 2021
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Close up of two bugs
Klaus Tamm/Unforgettable Behavior

Sizing up
Klaus Tamm, Germany

A scattering of gecko droppings on the sunny veranda of Tamm’s vacation apartment near Etang Salé-les-Hauts on the island of Réunion had attracted some unusual-looking insects. They were neriid long-legged flies. Tamm settled down with his camera to watch as they interacted. “Every so often, a couple of males would engage in a kind of combat dance that involved spinning around each other,” he said. “They would finish by stretching up to their full length of half-an-inch (one-and-a-half centimeters), then pushing with their mouthparts, shoulders and forelegs until one gained height, before flying away or mating with nearby females. I was so impressed by the harmony in the dance that I ended up photographing them for several hours.”

Technical specification: Canon EOS 5D Mark II + 100mm lens; 1/250 sec at f3.2 (+ 0.75 e/v); ISO 800

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