Luc Viatour


The Royal Greenhouses of Laeken (Dutch: Koninklijke Serres van Laken, French: Serres Royales de Laeken), are a vast complex of monumental heated greenhouses in the park of the Royal Palace of Laeken in the north of Brussels. It is one of the major tourist attractions of the city.

The complex was commissioned by King Leopold II and designed by Alphonse Balat. Built between 1874 and 1895, the complex was finished with the completion of the so-called “Iron Church”, a domed greenhouse that would originally serve as the royal chapel. The total floor surface of this immense complex is 2.5 hectares (270,000 square feet). 800,000 liters (over 200,000 US gallons) of fuel oil are needed each year to heat the buildings.

The complex can only be visited during a two-week period in April–May each year, when most flowers are in full bloom.

Credits : [Wikipedia] [Olivier Polet] [Luc Viatour]

MAORI WRASSE, Napoleon wrasse, or Napoleonfish;
Cheilinus undulatus
by Luc Viatour

This fish is chock full of win - the patterning is gorgeous (even better in the shot on the other posts link) males grow to SIX FEET in length and 300 pounds.

The humphead wrasse is a wrasse that is mainly found in coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific region. It is also known as the Māori wrasse, Napoleon wrasse, Napoleonfish; or “So Mei” 蘇眉 (Cantonese) and “Mameng” (Filipino).

The humphead wrasse is the largest living member of the family Labridae, with males reaching 6 feet (2 m) in length, while females rarely exceed about 3 feet (1 m). It has thick, fleshy lips and a hump that forms on its head above the eyes, becoming more prominent as the fish ages. Males range from a bright electric blue to green, a purplish blue, or a relatively dull blue/green. Juveniles and females are red-orange above, and red-orange to white below. Some males grow very large, with one unconfirmed report of a Humphead Wrasse that was 7.75 feet (2.29 m) long and weighed 420 lbs (190.5 kg).

Individuals become sexually mature at 5 to 7 years and females are known to live for around 30 years whereas males live a slightly shorter 25 years. Humphead wrasse are protogynous hermaphrodites, with some members of the population becoming male at approximately 9 years old. The factors that control the timing of sex change are not yet known. Adults move to the down-current end of the reef and form local spawning aggregations they concentrate to spawn at certain times of the year.


Other posts:

Maori Wrasse, another great shot

Titan Triggerfish

Ribbon Sweetlips


Mandarinfish (Synchiropus splendidus)

The mandarinfish is a small, brightly colored member of the dragonet family, which is popular in the saltwater aquarium trade. The mandarinfish is native to the Pacific, ranging approximately from the Ryukyu Islands south to Australia. To date, S. splendidus is one of only two vertebrate species known to have blue colouring because of cellular pigment. Mandarinfish are reef dwellers, preferring sheltered lagoons and inshore reefs. While they are slow-moving and fairly common within their range, they are not easily seen due to their bottom-feeding habit and their small size (reaching only about 6 cm). They feed primarily on small crustaceans and other invertebrates.

photo credits: meerwasser-lexikon, Luc Viatour, wiki

Hymenopus coronatus

Sometimes known as the Walking Flower Mantis or Pink Orchid Mantis, Hymenopus coronatus is a species of flower mimicking mantis that is native to southeastern Asia. Hymenopus coronatus is a rainforest dweller, typically being encountered in Malaysia and parts of  Indonesia. Like other flower mantids H. coronatus lies in wait on or near flowers, ambushing any flying insects that stray too close. Some sources state that H. coronatus prefers the Melastome Melastoma polyanthum.


Animalia-Arthropoda-Insecta-Mantodea-Hymenopodidae-Hymenopus-H. coronatus

Image: Luc Viatour

A photo of an original page from Leonardo da Vinci’s journal, showing the world-renowned drawing known as the Vitruvian Man, created around the year 1492. The drawing and text are sometimes called the Canon of Proportions or, less often, Proportions of Man. Leonardo based his drawing on some hints at correlations of ideal human proportions with geometry in Book III of the treatise De architectura by the ancient Roman architect Vitruvius, thus its name. The accompanying notes are written in mirror writing and describe the drawing as a study of the proportions of the (male) human body as described by Vitruvius.

Photo credit: Luc Viatour