For one Bunbury woman, finding and photographing some of the South West’s most colourful insects has become a passion.
Sunayana RamMohan became fascinated with the inner workings of bugs after moving to Bunbury five years ago with her husband and son.
Located in one of the richest biodiversity hotspots in the world, Bunbury has become a treasure trove for Ms RamMohan who can spend hours searching for and then photographing colourful insects in their natural environments.
“I think we live in a very beautiful place, the South West is just amazing as one of the biodiversity hotspots in the world, there are things that are found here, which are found nowhere else,” she said.
“As soon as we moved to Bunbury, my son started school and I had some free time to explore the place and learn more about the flora and fauna.
“I started looking not just seeing and then I found all the beautiful insects – once you see something so tiny you can’t unsee it, it’s very attractive.
“I like that you can find so many different types and species of insects.”
Ms RamMohan has an instagram account – The Insect Diary where she documents and shares her discoveries with others.
“I think what everybody likes is that I try to identify the insects and go into the specifics,” she said.
“So many people just think it’s a fly but there is so much more, genetics and evolution to get to this stage – I think insect and spider behaviour is very exciting.
“It took me three years to find my first peacock spider, I just couldn’t see it – all these bugs are hidden in plain sight, they’re everywhere but you need that special perspective to appreciate them.”
As a trained doctor Ms RamMohan’s knowledge of anatomy coupled with her latin and hours spent pouring over insect books continues to improve with each insect that passes her lens.
“I learnt more as I was looking more, so now if you show me an insect or spider I can tell you what it is,” she said.
“I think the most important thing is going out and getting photos, photography takes a long time because all these insects and spiders they have a mind of their own – they won’t pose for you.
“You have to be very patient to get a good shot – insects don’t stay still and to get close to them is hard because they perceive you as a threat, so it’s about approaching them very slowly, making sure the light is right and getting their eyes which shows a little bit of their personality.”
To see more of Ms RamMohan’s work visit theinsectdiary.blogspot.com.au.