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Images in Ultraviolet (UV) Light


A Survey of UK Wildlife in Ultraviolet (UV) Light

 

During 2008-2009 we carried out a survey of the appearance of wildlife at our site as it would appear if humans could see in UV light. Why? Because many insects and possibly other creatures can see in UV and we wondered what the world looked like to them

The bulk of the images are not a 'highlights' presentation but includes all the technically useful images we recorded - we show the 'failures' as well as the 'successes'. Most plants and insects are very dull in UV - i.e. 'black' in UV, just reflection in shiny surfaces, or a mimic of the general colouration.

No animals (including insects) were knowingly harmed despite their looking dead - they have simply been chilled to about 4C to render them torpid. Those where even this was insufficient to quiet them were either photographed 'on the run' or held under a net (very obvious in a few images). Everything was released at or near their point of capture - usually within our own 2 acre plot.

If you are interested in the methods used to obtain the images or want to do some detailed study on them your should read the details at Photographic & Processing Details

Highlights
For casual visitors we have collected here those images that we think are particularly interesting or pretty. They also appear in their appropriate sections.
Flowers & Leaves
A huge group of mostly wild species showing the front and back of petals - an importance discovered by accident in early trials and systematically carried through whenever possible on all the subjects.
Dragonflies & Damselflies
Dragonflies are particularly interesting because, apart from the spectacular Broad-bodied chaser male, the normally viewed top of the insect of rather dull in UV, while the underside is sometimes distinctly marked.
Dragonflies are basically visual creatures without pheromones (chemical signals) so visual recognition is important. Some dragonflies are known to have vision in the UV part of the spectrum.
The Odanata work was started at the instigation of Wendy Harris from Swansea University and required the invaluable help of local BDS recorder Alan Nelson. The paper entitled Odonata colour: more than meets the eye? is published by the International Journal of Odonatology. You can also see the Swansea News Centre Press Release.
Butterflies
These insects are show some interesting marking in UV but in our view it is more incidental echoing of normal colour patterns than having any special functions. However there are exception and unexpected pattern. Butterflies with spots tend to have these bright in UV regardless of any general dullness.
Moths
These insects (mostly night fliers) are basically pheromone signallers and marking are mostly designed to disguise or startle predators - many are extremely cryptic with normally hidden bright underwings to flash when startled. Hence we have not noticed anything exciting in this section except that some of the moths are really beautiful anyway.
Insects (assorted)
An assortment excluding Lepidoptera & Odonata.
As far as we can tell Ladybirds (Ladybugs) have negligible UV colouration in the carapace. We have not tried to photograph their undersides because chilling does little to slow ladybird & netting such a small creature is too difficult.
Animals & Birds
Our kit is only suitable for small invertebrates and the like, but can be used for feather and a snake skin. Moorhen images use a different dual-camera technique to photograph the birds in the wild.
Calibration and Sundry
Assorted images of reproducible items and ad-hoc items.

 

Complete list in section order

 

Highlights

black-tailed skimmer dragonfly imm male in uv.jpg
bluebell common (hyacinthoides non-scripta) in uv.jpg
brimstone butterfly male 3 in uv.jpg
broad-bodied chaser dragonfly male in uv.jpg
buddleia - white colour in uv.jpg
white campion in uv.jpg
red campion in uv.jpg
wild carrot (front) in uv.jpg
celandine in uv.jpg
comfrey flower side view in uv.jpg
oxeye daisy in uv.jpg
common daisy (bellis perennis) in uv.jpg
dandelion in uv.jpg
forget-me-not in uv.jpg
d32_06530 + d10_01536 moorhen 2 (natural & av) 2004may13_13-13-06(r+mb sample@768).jpg
ragwort in uv.jpg

Flowers & Leaves

allium giant globe in uv.jpg
allium purple globe in uv.jpg
allium white 2 in uv.jpg
aquilegia in uv.jpg
beaked (q) hawks-beard in uv.jpg
bitter cress 1 in uv.jpg
blackberry flower in uv.jpg
blackthorn flower in uv.jpg
bluebell 2 variants in uv.jpg
bluebell common (hyacinthoides non-scripta) in uv.jpg
bluebell pink variant (q) (hyacinthoides non-scripta (q)) in uv.jpg
bluebell spanish (hyacinthoides hispanica) in uv.jpg
bluebell white variant (hyacinthoides non-scripta var alba) in uv.jpg
buddleia - white colour in uv.jpg
buddleia - lilac colour in uv.jpg
buddleia - yellow-orange colour in uv.jpg
bugle (ajuga reptans) in uv.jpg
buttercup in uv.jpg
californian lilac (ceanothus thyrsiflorus) in uv.jpg
white campion in uv.jpg
red campion in uv.jpg
wild carrot (front) in uv.jpg
wild carrot (back) in uv.jpg
wild carrot 2 (front) in uv.jpg
celandine in uv.jpg
centaury in uv.jpg
cherry flower (acer pseuoplantanus) in uv.jpg
clematis purple in uv.jpg
4 coleus leaves in uv.jpg
coleus leaf pink-white-green in uv.jpg
coleus maroon leaf and flower in uv.jpg
comfrey flower side view in uv.jpg
cow parsley in uv.jpg
cowslip in uv.jpg
red crocosmia in uv.jpg
daffodil (narcissus) 1 in uv.jpg
daffodil (narcissus) 2 in uv.jpg
daffodil (narcissus) 3 in uv.jpg
daffodil (narcissus) 4 in uv.jpg
daffodil (narcissus) 5 in uv.jpg
yellow daisy in uv.jpg
oxeye daisy in uv.jpg
common daisy (bellis perennis) in uv.jpg
daisy with large (10cm dia) flowerhead in uv.jpg
unident daisy like flower 2cm dia in uv.jpg
dandelion in uv.jpg
greater dodder flowers on common (stinging) nettle in uv.jpg
greater dodder flowers 2 on common (stinging) nettle in uv.jpg
forget-me-not in uv.jpg
foxglove into throat in uv.jpg
garlic mustard in uv.jpg
geranium in uv.jpg
geranium white flower in uv.jpg
grape hyacinth in uv.jpg
great willow herb in uv.jpg
green alkanet in uv.jpg
hawthorn blossom in uv.jpg
hazel catkin & flower in uv.jpg
honeysuckle all white in uv.jpg
honeysuckle flower closed in uv.jpg
horse chestnut natural in uv.jpg
horse chestnut red in uv.jpg
blue iris in uv.jpg
blue iris mottled centre in uv.jpg
blue iris yellow centre in uv.jpg
iris flower yellow-white in uv.jpg
white & blue iris yellow centre in uv.jpg
yellow flag iris in uv.jpg
knapweed in uv.jpg
ladys smock in uv.jpg
lilac in uv.jpg
yellow lily cultivar in uv.jpg
mallow flower in uv.jpg
marigold in uv.jpg
marsh marigold in uv.jpg
meadowsweet in uv.jpg
mock orange in uv.jpg
woody nightshade in uv.jpg
pink flowered shrub in uv.jpg
primrose in uv.jpg
pulmonaria 1 in uv.jpg
pulmonaria 2 in uv.jpg
pulmonaria 3 in uv.jpg
purple loosestrife in uv.jpg
ragwort in uv.jpg
wild rose in uv.jpg
cultivated rose in uv.jpg
rose of sharon flower in uv.jpg
rough hawks-beard flower & leaf in uv.jpg
scarlet pimpernel in uv.jpg
self-heal in uv.jpg
snakes-head fritillary white variant in uv.jpg
snowdrop in uv.jpg
strawberry flower in uv.jpg
teasel flower in uv.jpg
creeping thistle in uv.jpg
scottish thistle in uv.jpg
triangular stalked garlic (alium triquetrum) in uv.jpg
unidentified patio flower in uv.jpg
unident flower with pink panicles at orchard edge in uv.jpg
unident yellow flowerhead from front garden in uv.jpg
viburnum in uv.jpg
water mint flower head in uv.jpg
white 5 petal pair flower with buttercup like leaf in uv.jpg
white clover and alsike clover in uv.jpg
white dead-nettle (lamium album) in uv.jpg
white dead-nettle 2 (lamium album) in uv.jpg
willow catkin in uv.jpg

Dragonflies & Damselflies

azure damselfly 2 in uv.jpg
azure damselfly female in uv.jpg
azure damselfly in uv.jpg
azure damselfly male 3 in uv.jpg
pair of azure damselflies in uv.jpg
large red damselfly 2 in uv.jpg
banded demoiselle damselfly female in uv.jpg
banded demoiselle damselfly male in uv.jpg
black-tailed skimmer dragonfly imm male in uv.jpg
broad-bodied chaser dragonfly female in uv.jpg
broad-bodied chaser dragonfly male in uv.jpg
broad-bodied chaser dragonfly male 2 in uv.jpg
brown hawker (aeshna grandis) female 2 in uv.jpg
brown hawker dragonfly (aeshna grandis) female in uv.jpg
brown hawker dragonfly (aeshna grandis) in uv.jpg
common darter dragonfly female 3 in uv.jpg
common darter dragonfly female 4 in uv.jpg
common darter dragonfly female 5 in uv.jpg
common darter dragonfly in uv.jpg
common darter dragonfly male 2 in uv.jpg
common darter dragonfly male 3 in uv.jpg
common darter dragonfly male 4 in uv.jpg
common darter female 1 in uv.jpg
common darter female 2 in uv.jpg
dragonfly exuvia (shed larval skins) assortment 1 in uv.jpg
southern hawker dragonfly exuvia in uv.jpg
emerald damselfly female in uv.jpg
emerald damselfly male in uv.jpg
emerald damselfly male 2 in uv.jpg
emerald damselfly male 3 in uv.jpg
emerald damselfly male 4 in uv.jpg
emperor dragonfly female in uv.jpg
four-spot chaser dragonfly male in uv.jpg
four-spotted chaser dragonfly female in uv.jpg
hairy dragonfly female in uv.jpg
hairy dragonfly female side in uv.jpg
hairy dragonfly male in uv.jpg
migrant hawker dragonfly female 2 in uv.jpg
migrant hawker dragonfly female in uv.jpg
migrant hawker dragonfly immature male in uv.jpg
migrant hawker dragonfly male 2 in uv.jpg
migrant hawker dragonfly male 3 in uv.jpg
migrant hawker male in uv.jpg
ruddy darter dragonfly female 1 in uv.jpg
ruddy darter dragonfly male 2 in uv.jpg
ruddy darter dragonfly male 3 in uv.jpg
ruddy darter dragonfly male 4 in uv.jpg
ruddy darter dragonfly male top (sympetrum sanguineum) in uv.jpg
scarce chaser dragonfly male faulty emergence unable to fly cold in uv.jpg
southern hawker dragonfly female 2 in uv.jpg
southern hawker dragonfly female in uv.jpg
southern hawker dragonfly male 1 in uv.jpg
southern hawker dragonfly male 2 in uv.jpg
southern hawker dragonfly male 3 in uv.jpg
southern hawker dragonfly male 4 in uv.jpg

Butterflies

brimstone butterfly female 1 in uv.jpg
brimstone butterfly male 1 in uv.jpg
brimstone butterfly male 2 in uv.jpg
brimstone butterfly male 3 in uv.jpg
brimstone butterfly male 4 in uv.jpg
comma butterfly 2 in uv.jpg
comma butterfly in uv.jpg
common blue butterfly in uv.jpg
common blue butterfly female in uv.jpg
gatekeeper butterfly in uv.jpg
gatekeeper butterfly pair (male left) mating in uv.jpg
green veined white butterfly in uv.jpg
green-veined white butterfly in uv.jpg
marbled white butterfly in uv.jpg
meadow brown butterfly in uv.jpg
orange-tip butterfly male in uv.jpg
pair (q) of speckled wood butterflies in uv.jpg
peacock butterfly 2 in uv.jpg
peacock butterfly in uv.jpg
red admiral butterfly chrysalis in uv.jpg
red admiral butterfly in uv.jpg
ringlet butterfly male 2 in uv.jpg
ringlet butterfly male in uv.jpg
small skipper (q) butterfly in uv.jpg
small tortoiseshell butterfly 2 in uv.jpg
small tortoiseshell butterfly in uv.jpg
small white butterfly 2 in uv.jpg
small white butterfly in uv.jpg

Moths

angle shades moth (phlogophora meticulosa) in uv.jpg
barred yellow carpet moth 1 in uv.jpg
barred yellow carpet moth 2 in uv.jpg
blood-vein moth (timandra comae) in uv.jpg
brimstone moth 2 in uv.jpg
brimstone moth in uv.jpg
broad-bordered yellow underwing moth in uv.jpg
buff ermine moth (spilosoma luteum) in uv.jpg
burnet companion (q) day flying moth in uv.jpg
burnished brass moth in uv.jpg
clouded border moth in uv.jpg
common footman moth in uv.jpg
common swift (q) moth in uv.jpg
cream wave (scopula floslactata) (q) moth in uv.jpg
elephant hawk-moth in uv.jpg
eyed hawk-moth in uv.jpg
garden carpet (q) moth in uv.jpg
green-brindled crescent moth (allophyes oxyacanthae) in uv.jpg
heart and dart moth in uv.jpg
large yellow underwing moth in uv.jpg
light emerald (q) moth in uv.jpg
magpie moth in uv.jpg
pale prominent moth (pterostoma palpina) in uv.jpg
peach blossom moth (thyatira batis) in uv.jpg
peppered moth in uv.jpg
poplar hawk-moth 2 (laothoe populi) in uv.jpg
pyrausta aurata moth in uv.jpg
setaceous hebrew character moth (amathes c-nigrum) in uv.jpg
small magpie moth in uv.jpg
swallow prominent moth in uv.jpg
unidentified geometer carpet (q) moth in uv.jpg
unident geometer (q) moth 2 in uv.jpg
unident geometer (q) moth 3 in uv.jpg
unident moth (q) in uv.jpg
unident moth 2 in uv.jpg
unident noctua moth (q) in uv.jpg
unident noctua moth 2 (q) in uv.jpg
unident noctua moth 3 in uv.jpg
white plume moth in uv.jpg
white satin moth (leucoma salicis (lymantriidae)) (q) in uv.jpg

Insects (assorted)

bog bush-cricket female (q) in uv.jpg
bumblebee in uv.jpg
harvestman in uv.jpg
ichneumon fly aka ichneumon wasp (ophion luteus (q)) in uv.jpg
7 spot ladybird in uv.jpg
harlequin ladybird 1 in uv.jpg
harlequin ladybird 2 in uv.jpg
long-winged conehead cricket (conocephalus discolor) female in uv.jpg
roesels bush-cricket (metrioptera roeselii) 2 in uv.jpg
roesels bush-cricket (metrioptera roeselii) in uv.jpg
scorpion fly male in uv.jpg
twenty-two-spot ladybird in uv.jpg
unidentified plant bug (q) in uv.jpg
unident bug (q) in uv.jpg
unident pupa found on ground in uv.jpg

Animals & Birds

feathers of magpie+pheasant+pheasant in uv.jpg
feathers of pigeons in uv.jpg
grass snake skin in uv.jpg
d32_06552 + d10_01710 moorhen mating seq 1 of 3 (1=f 2=m) (natural & uv) 2004may30_08-08-54(r+mb sample@768).jpg
d32_06553 + d10_01711 moorhen mating seq 2 of 3 (1=f 2=m) (natural & uv) 2004may30_08-09-12(r+mb sample@768).jpg
d32_06530 + d10_01536 moorhen 2 (natural & av) 2004may13_13-13-06(r+mb sample@768).jpg
d32_06524 + d10_01530 moorhen 1 (natural & uv) 2004may13_08-40-12(r+mb sample@768).jpg
d32_06550 + d10_01708 moorhen chick (natural & uv) 2004may30_08-08-08(r+mb sample@768).jpg
d32_06568 + d10_01729 moorhen chick (matural & uv) 2004may31_10-37-04(r+mb sample@768).jpg

Calibration and Sundry

kodak grey scale + blu-tack in uv.jpg
test card (18percent+blu-tack+black velvet) baseboard in uv.jpg
test card (18percent+blu-tack+black velvet) raised platform in uv.jpg
watkins & doncaster kite net in uv.jpg
wendy dragonfly (aeshna wendii) (joke) in uv.jpg

 

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