Macro Photographs of Nature’s Tiniest Architects by Nicky Bay

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Bagworm moth larva (Psychidae), all images courtesy of Nicky Bay

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Bagworm moth larva (Psychidae)

Nicky Bay (previously here and here) is the master of capturing the exceptionally small, photographing insects typically passed over without acknowledgement or recognition. The Singapore-based photographer stays acutely aware of these tiny creatures, using macro photography to highlight each minuscule detail. While taking a closer look at the micro world found deep in the rainforest, Bay began to notice tiny structures built by his favorite subject. The bug buildings appear manmade—tiny log cabins, gates, tents, and fortresses blocking each insect from the world just beyond their carefully placed twigs and segments of silk.

My favorite microscopic discovery of Bay’s was the Bagworm moth larva’s twisting stack of twigs it builds to protect itself as it grows inside. These stacked structures are almost perfect in their symmetry, each side built with twigs that are equal in length and width. Another favorite is the Arctiinae moth pupa’s cage produced from caterpillar hair and silk, a semi-protective fortress that appears almost like chicken wire.

Ray has collected several other examples of these tiny architects, including a web tower and silk-covered tent which you can see over on his macro photography blog. You can also follow his day-to-day macro photography on Facebook.

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Bagworm moth larva (Psychidae)

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Web tower structure, image by Jeff Cremer

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Arctiine moth pupa (Cyana sp.)

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Arctiine moth pupa (Cyana sp.)

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Arctiine moth pupa (Cyana sp.)

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Arctiine moth pupa (Cyana sp.)

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Bagworm Moth

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Bagworm moth larva (Psychidae)

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