Secret Lives & Hidden Places

This site contains photographs of insects, reptiles, and other small creatures from around the world.

If you are interested in insects and small creatures, you'll already know that climate change, habitat loss, and pesticide/herbicide use are devastating insect populations in large areas of the world. It is well worth reading a recent New York Times article titled "The Insect Apocalypse Is Here" or reading the European study titled "More than 75 percent decline over 27 years in total flying insect biomass in protected areas" in order to see the scale of the losses in certain areas.

Many of the species on this site are difficult to find and photograph. Some have a lifespan of only a few days, others live in remote places, some emerge only after rain or at specific times of the year, and many vanish if they detect movement. I photograph my subjects where I find them with minimal interference and keep their welfare in mind. If I can't get the shot I want, I move on to the next insect -- there are plenty to choose from, and I prefer doing that to capturing them for a studio shot.

By showcasing the beauty of insects in the wild and highlighting unusual behavior, I hope to encourage people to avoid the use of insecticides, pay more attention to nature, and support public policy that provides more protection to all threatened species.

The role an insect plays in the ecosystem may be as simple as being a food source for birds. Or, it may be more complicated: A single genus of midge is the sole pollinator of the cacao tree -- from which we get chocolate. Without midges, there would be no chocolate. Falling insect populations will affect us all sooner or later.

I also photograph larger creatures such as frogs, geckos, lizards, and snakes when I find them. Amphibians are also in trouble as a result of "collection" for the pet trade, habitat loss, and the chytrid fungus. Their population levels are also affected by insect populations (their food), and the two rise and fall together.



On the right, a stunning orchid bee from La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica.

Orchid bee. Euglossa sp. My current obsession is with chasing these exquisite and fascinating little bees.
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