I would like to watch Sir David’ Attenborough’s latest fascinating documentary series Micro Monsters 3D which starts Saturday 15th June on Sky One. It has been made using revolutionary technolgy such as macrophotography ultraviolet lighting and 3d offers the audience a unique point-of-view and transports and immerses them into the mysterious kigdom of piders, insects, arthropods, ants, wasps and bugs revealing the great detail, astonishing beauty, amazing variety and bizarre adaptations in the fascinaing and unpredictable world of ‘alien’ crepy crawlies . From ferocious scorpions with paralysing stings, to Bombarier beetles , which spray boiwho ing chemicals out of its ‘anal gun’ at high pressures to shock and iritate these would-be predators, and assassin bugs that clothe themselves in their victims’ corpses, to Emerald Cockroach Wasps, whose female goes ou in search of a female cockroach and stings it twice; first to disable, ten to urn it into a servant. She then leads the zombie cockroach down a dark hole and lays a single egg on it. The lavae hatch and slowly eat the living tissue of the cockroach before emerging as fully-grown adults. Another species The Paper Wasps were less outwardly violent than the Emerald Cockroach Wasp but their nests are full of females fighting it out to be the dominant queen.
The six episodes were Filmed in many locations including the plains of Africa and the Australian outback, One sequence shows a wasp in a flight stinging a cockroach that took 10 hours to fully capture. To film the arthropods, which were sometimes less than a millimetre long, the team used macrophotography that can film tiny animals to make them appear larger than life. The series also looks at how Harsh winters hit honey bees,The series also features an enormous Goliath Beetle locked in ferocious combat for a mate, and the crew also donned protective suits so that they could get face-to-face with bees performing their honey dance.
They also travelled to the Outback in Australia to capture the deadly Redback Spider, which weaves vertical strands and when a bug becomes attached to it, the spider can hoist the prey up like a bungee. While Another species The Portia Jumping Spider uses its skills to hunt other spiders. By plucking the webs of unsuspecting prey to fool them into thinking it is a leaf blowing in the breeze, or even a trapped fly and then luring the targeted spider to its death. as well as Ogre-Faced Spiders, who use their acute vision and cunning to trap prey by spinning a stretchy square net, holding it by the corners and hanging above insect highways. keeping an eye out for any unsuspecting prey walking underneath and striking in a split second, catching the bug in its stretchy tangled net.Another spider the film managed to capture in 3D was the Stegodyphus who build huge nests in trees and by working together can take down a mantis, for example, many times their own size, like a pack of wolves.David also filmed the Australian Sydney Funnel Web spider as well as the Great Raft Spider, which live and hunt near and on the water and use their ferocious powerful jaws to catch anything up to the size of small fish
The series also features a number of different ant colonies and species & shows the inner-workings of an ant colony and features a 20 million-strong Driver Ant colony and looks at how they attack en masse, and examines their behaviour as they cross huge areas eating everything in their path. Another species featured is the Tramp Ant, whose first born male Tramp Ant will attempt to kill any rival males as they emerge. However his jaws aren’t strong enough to do this so he recruits female workers to finish the job, smearing a pheromone that causes the females to slaughter hi s rivals Leaving the male to mate with all the queens he wants. Adult Australian Green Ants are also featured and they pick up their colony’s larvae and use them as living glue guns to stick the leaves of their new nest together. Leafcutter ants are also featured for whom a natural assault course was built suspended by very fine fishing wire.
Another episode features the Burrowing Cockroach from western Australia, which is the heaviest cockroach in the world and the Periplaneta Americana cockroach, also known as the common American cockroach which is one of the fastest cockroaches on Earth which the team struggled to keep up with because the 3D camera rigs were too slow. The series also features an enormous Goliath Beetle locked in ferocious combat for a mate. Other insects featured include the Spiny Flower Mantis, the Malachite Butterfly, the Damselfly and the incredible detail of a mosquito sucking blood from a human. The team also filmed with an ultraviolet light and discovered that scorpions have a surprisingly delicate night-time mating ritual. The Nassonia Jewel Wasp meanwhile is just 1 mm big and also has a complex courtship ritual. The male will rub pheromones onto the female’s antennae to persuade her to mate. Once mated, the male will perform another ritual that stops her from wanting to mate again.
- Episode 1 – Conflict (15th June)The hunt for food brings bugs into conflict. Some develop extraordinary ways to attack. Others have devastatingly effective defences.Featuring: the acid-spraying Bombardier Beetle; the Antlion’s deadly sandpit; the Trapdoor Spider’s silken trip-wires; and the Assassin Bug, its back adorned with dead insects, a disguise that lets it live unchallenged amongst its victims
- .Episode 2 – Predator (22nd June)Nothing wants to be eaten – and so bugs that feed on other bugs have devised amazing ways to defeat the defences of their prey.Featuring: the Whirligig Beetle that uses the water as a radar system; the uber-sophisticated Portia Spider; the Ogre-Faced Spider’s portable net; and the Cockroach Wasp, which tames a cockroach so its young can eat it alive.
- Episode 3 – Courtship (29th June)Life is all about making the next generation. Bugs must choose the best mate, and they have many ways to seduce a prospective partner.Featuring: dancing Scorpions; perfume-wearing Nassonia Wasps; the Tropical Cricket which seduces the female with bribes; and the deadly embrace of the Praying Mantis.
- Episode 4 – Sex (6th July)After courtship comes sex, with every male wanting to ensure that the next generation is his.Featuring: the Harvestman Spider, which has no use for sex and reproduces solely by cloning; the tiny male Orb Spider, capable of sneaking up on a female and mating without her noticing; and the Butterfly, an eating machine as a caterpillar and a sex machine as a butterfly.
- Episode 5 – Colony (13th July)Some arthropods have found a new way to prosper in the world. Instead of fighting each other, they co-operate.Featuring: the Burrowing Cockroach, a bug that cares for her young; Social Spiders, living together in a single 30-metre web; Bumblebees, whose queen controls the hive with a chemical that renders the other bees sterile; and Green Ants, using their larvae as glue to hold their nest together.
- Episode 6 – Super-Organism (20th July)The ultimate bug invention – colonies so vast that they rival human megacities in both size and complexity.Featuring: Honey Bees, using dance as a crucial communication tool; Termites, insect city-building on an unsurpassed scale; the Leafcutter Ants that have taken up farming; and the Argentine Ant, with a colony of billions that stretches, literally, across a continent.