Sony F-717 digital
Sunpak MZ4400AF flash off-camera
47.5mm w/ Zuiko 50mm f1.4 reversed on front, f8
1/200 at ISO 100

Learn something new every day
unidentified amphipod and snail

Another extreme macro image. I just have no real idea what I'm looking at.

On occasion, I caught marine critters that are virtually identical to the "pillbugs" (some call them "roly-polys") that can often be found on land in moist wooded areas. They're quite active and agile, so when one paused atop a tiny snail on the aquarium glass, I got a quick photo.

In attempting to determine what it is, I discovered that the terrestrial pillbugs are actually crustaceans, related to crabs and, yes, to barnacles as well. They're in the order of Isopoda, and are indeed closely related to the hitchhiker pictured here.

But I haven't pinned down a proper name for the aquatic version – the closest I've come has been that they're amphipods (which is a big category), the same as this photo in the gallery. So if anyone has any good leads, please don't hesitate to let me know.

The snail seen here, with the pretty pattern, is less than half the size of a grain of rice – you only get to see the colors at high magnifications. And I talk a little about the difficulties of photography at such magnifications here.