Image of the Day: Snake in Smoke
Image of the Day: Snake in Smoke

Image of the Day: Snake in Smoke

An image of a Malagasy tree boa wins first place in the British Ecological Society’s annual photography competition.

Emily Makowski
Dec 4, 2019

ABOVE: Red night
ROBERTO GARCÍA-ROA

Aphoto of a Malagasy tree boa (Sanzinia madagascariensis) with dramatic background lighting staged to portray the threat of fire was named overall winner in the British Ecological Society’s annual Capturing Ecology competition, according to a November 29 press release. The photo, titled Red night, was taken by Roberto García-Roa, a postdoc in Pau Carazo’s lab at the University of Valencia in Spain. García-Roa is an evolutionary biologist and nature photographer.  

Malagasy tree boas, found only on the island of Madagascar, are threatened by activities such as poaching and human-caused fires. García-Roa used red light and blurred the image’s background to create the appearance of fire surrounding the snake. “Unfortunately, many areas of Madagascar are suffering huge anthropic pressures . . . and big snakes are becoming increasingly difficult to see,” says García-Roa in the press release. 

García-Roa also won first place in two of the competition’s six specific categories, according to the BBC. His photo of a scorpion in Madagascar won in the “Up Close and Personal” category, and he also won in “Dynamic Ecosystems” for his image of a small spider capturing a large ant. 

Emily Makowski is an intern at The Scientist. Email her at emakowski@the-scientist.com