Trip in Sri Lanka – Mai 2011

Yann L'hostis, the author, in action

In mai, is was in Sri Lanka for professional reasons and I took one saturday afternoon to try to catch some water mites in the neighbourhood of my hôtel. I had the feeling of being on the tracks of the Hungarian Eugen von Daday (AKA Daday Jenő) who writes « Mikroscopische Süsswasserthiere aus Ceylon » in 1898.

Fishing the water mites.

I hired the three wheeler of Amila and we went to a kind of lake, in Weligama, near the Load Star Training Center. It may be a reservoir used for the irrigation (a lot of rice field in the area).

I had only a very small net, some small white tray (from the plane menu) and my rubber boots. My guide went in the mud barefoot and he seems to enjoy the treasure hunt.

In the first attempt to catch watermites we had the pleasure to find one and I explained to my guide how to recognize them.

We stayed more than one hour in the mud but we had less luck after the first moment.

First photo shoot in the hôtel.

As I didn’t brought my trinocular magnifier in Sri Lanka, I used my Panasonic GH1 and one of my macro lens (Elicar 90mm V-HQ).

I was very disapointed by the pictures taken. They were not sharp at all. Maybe the Elicar lens is not good (next time I will take my Tokina Bokina with the macro attachment) but the fact that I have forgotten to stop down the diaphragm (I only used it wide open, with no depth of field) didn’t help for sure.

Bringing back to france living water mites.

I put my water mites in a small coke plastic bottle in my checked luggages to shoot them with my trinocular.

I was afraid the low temperature and pressures in the plane hold will kill them but it didn’t. The water mites are very resistant to difficult conditions.

Things to improve for the next trip.

  1. Try the Bokina lens in France to see which is the more suitable for that kind of pictures.
  2. Bring some vials with Koenike fluid to bring back some dead specimens (especially in case of longer trip).

Amila the three wheeler driver and a friend of him

Loadstar training Center



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