The Weird, Strange, Bizarre & Odd Stuff

Aliens on Earth: Macro Pictures by Igor Siwanowicz

A praying mantis appears to dance or adopt a kung-fu pose in this picture captured by Igor Siwanowicz at his home studio in Munich, Germany.

A giant Malaysian shield praying mantis
A giant Malaysian shield praying mantis

 

Igor Siwanowicz has spent years carefully acquiring, breeding and photographing praying mantises and other bizarre insects.

A dragonhead eumegalodon.
A dragonhead eumegalodon.

“I have always been fascinated by insects even from childhood,” he says. “You could say that I am sort of a public relations representative in service of creepy-crawlies. I think mantids are totally slick and se*y, and have style. I take ‘weird’ and ‘bizarre’ as positive adjectives.”

A Malaysian jungle nymph.
A Malaysian jungle nymph.

Apart from the standard challenges presented by close up and macro photography in the form of camera shake, operating with a limited depth of field and ensuring enough light is available, Igor must also contend with the temperament of his subjects. “Animals are very unpredictable and uncooperative, and there is almost no way to force them into collaboration,” he said. “One can use tricks though – moths and butterflies are very docile freshly after hatching. Most otherwise fidgety insects can be approached early in the morning, when the temperature is low and their metabolism hasn’t kicked in yet.”

A giant devil's flower mantis
A giant devil's flower mantis

Igor cites his main influence as the works of the designer of the monster from the Alien films, HR Giger.

A giant devil's flower mantis
A giant devil's flower mantis
A leaf bug
A leaf bug
A South American dead leaf mantis
A plain mantis.
A praying mantis
A praying mantis
A Malaysian orchid praying mantis
A Malaysian orchid praying mantis
A giant devil's flower mantis.
A giant devil's flower mantis.
A Schizocephala mantis eating a fly
A Schizocephala mantis eating a fly
A conehead mantis
A conehead mantis
A leaf grasshopper
A leaf grasshopper
A Heterohaeta - the world's largest mantis
A Heterohaeta - the world's largest mantis
A spiny flower mantis eating another bug
A spiny flower mantis eating another bug
A large African praying mantis in Igor's home studio in Munich, Germany
A large African praying mantis in Igor's home studio in Munich, Germany
Stag beetles fighting in Igor's home studio
Stag beetles fighting in Igor's home studio
Death's head moth caterpillars
Death's head moth caterpillars
An adult Saturnid moth
An adult Saturnid moth
A giant green pill millipede
A giant green pill millipede
Two African praying mantises
Two African praying mantises
An adult male Rosette-Nosed Chameleon
An adult male Rosette-Nosed Chameleon
A crested gecko
A crested gecko
Two large praying mantises show their colours in Igor's home studio
Two large praying mantises show their colours in Igor's home studio
A flower praying mantis
A flower praying mantis
A Chinese comet moth caterpillar
A Chinese comet moth caterpillar
A Brahmin moth caterpillar...
A Brahmin moth caterpillar...
...and a Brahmin moth
...and a Brahmin moth
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2 Responses to Aliens on Earth: Macro Pictures by Igor Siwanowicz

  1. I love these macros!!! Great color and even better subjects! Coolest of the creepy! Excellent job!