Listening with your elbow

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(11 Nov 2016) Figuring out the difference between insects is not always simple: what is a cricket, and what is a katydid, for instance. Sometimes a detail gives it away, in this case the tympana, that is: the ear. Katydids have a listening device near the joint of their front leg, a body part we would call an elbow. In the photo the slit can be easily seen. It is an ear. Katydids listen with their legs! These ‘ears’ are constructed in essentially the same way as our ears. Katydid hearing aids are considered the smallest ears on the planet.
All to be seen on Tamborine Mountain, the Green Island in the Sky.
Technique
This photo was taken in day light, but in the shade. I wanted a good depth of field: as many parts as possible of the creature should be ‘sharp’, or ‘in focus’. f/9 was a suitable setting for that, but it required a rather long shutter time. When that time is over 1/60, taking a handheld picture is never wise. I always try to use the tripod, and with a required shutter time of 1/15 that was good. I used my special 60 mm macro lens. Actually, the photo was taken because of the beautiful similar colour of insect and leaf; it was not until I looked at the photos later, that I discovered the ‘ear’ on its leg.