7 of 19    larger

Saturnid moth caterpillars: The abstract created by this view of massed caterpillars looks for all the world like some discarded Christmas decoration. The massing behaviour may well be a way of increasing the striking effect of each individual's bright warning colours, alerting would-be predators that they do not make a good meal. The effect in this carefully composed image is equally striking. These are just one of almost 2,000 species of butterfly and moth found in a small patch of rainforest in Rondonia, Brazil. Though many are photogenic, few provide an opportunity to reveal the subtleties of natural perfection in an abstract manner. If the photographer had chosen to align the subjects vertically across the frame, the image would have lost much of its impact. Photographer: Whit Bronaugh (USA). Specially Commended at the BBC Photo Contest 1998