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A life view at the magnificent world of insects

Here you can see movies of insects, seen from the insect’s perspective. Just like we do with our macrophotography, we have put the camera at the insect eye’s level to get the best impression of insect behavior. It’s both beautiful and horrible, let’s be happy that these animals are not as big as we are.... The movies are made with a video camera equipped with macro lens, or by mounting thousands of macro photo’s into a sequence (time lapse photography) or by folding macrophoto’s as a digital skin over computer generated shapes and bring these shapes alive......photorealistic animation. Movies are in quicktime format. Click here to download plugin if movies don’t play and your browser doesn’t suggest what to do.

Feeding caterpillar of the large cabbage white, Pieris brassicae. Extreme macro recordings and slow- motion sequences show the incredibly effective feeding mechanism of this caterpillar (imagine eating at that speed...!). Note the rapid movements (drumming) of the taste organs, below the mandibles, which test the quality of food continuously just before it reaches the mouth. Thanks to Dr. Joop van Loon, Wageningen University for advice. Available in standard DVD quality.

Trichogramma brassicae hitchhiking on Pieris brassicae caterpilar
Hitchhiking wasps. Trichogramma egg parasitoids have a problem. They are not good in flying long distances, yet they have to find eggs of their hosts. They found a clever solution; hitchhiking on their host butterflies! This way they can easily travel with the butterflies and are dropped-off on the place to be; the oviposition sites of their hosts! On this movie you can see that trichogramma wasps are attracted by heir host, a large female cabbage white butterflly. The butterfly sometimes kicks them off but other wasps find a good spot on the butterflies body and wait until it lands to deposit its eggs. This movie is made in collaboration with Prof. Dr. Urs Wyss, Institute of Phytopathology, University of Kiel, Germany. Available in standard DVD quality

malaria mosquito bloodfeeding on humanBlood feeding by the malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae. You can see here how the mosquito walks over the skin to find a suitable spot and then inserts its stylet. Soon therafter dark red coloration of the abdomen is visible. After a while, droplets excess liquid are expelled from the rectum. When ready, the mosquito flies away. Several longer sequences including searching on skin are available. Thanks to Dr Yu Tong Qiu for advice. Available in standard DVD quality

Cotesia glomerata parasitizing on caterpillars of piersis brassicae, large cabbag white
Spectacular parasitization behavior! This parasitic wasp lays its eggs in caterpillars of the large cabbage white butterfly. The caterpillars bite and spit at the wasp to prevent parasitation, which paralizes the wasp temporarily. This defence behavior is especially effective when the wasps are not too young, as you can see in the last part of this movie. Available in standard DVD quality

larva of Cotesia glomerata emerging from pieris brassicae caterpillar, usurpation hypothesisParasitic wasp larva escape from their host. Time-lapse series spanning events lasting 7 days. After a parasitic wasp has laid her eggs into a caterpillar host (see “spectacular parasitation behavior”) the caterpillar has continued to feed and grow, and finally developed into the fifth larval instar. Inside the caterpillar, the parasitic wasp larva have developed too.....Just prior to the normal molting of the caterpillar into the pupal stage, the larva of the parasites escape from the body of the caterpillar, spin a cocoon and develop into an adult wasp. They manage to leave the caterpillar without spilling a single drop of blood, saving the life of their host. The caterpillar lives on for a few more days, not to become an adult butterfly, but as a kind of zombie, protecting the cocoons of the parasitic wasps by spinning a layer of protective silk over the cocoons, and attacking everything that approaches, until its parasitized body finally perishes. Available in HD quality resolution from diverse viewing angles.

click to start animation
3D photorealistic animation. Computer generated movie showing a parasitic wasp that is attracted by the odors of a cabbage plant. These odours are induced by the feeding damage of caterpillars. The plant “calls for help” by emitting
these odors and the wasps can hereby find and parasitize the caterpillars. This technique is very well suited for instruction videos. Available
in HD quality