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First Macro Outing of 2012

Published May 15th, 2012

Let me just start by saying that I am not an entomologist. Just an enthusiastic amateur photographer, with a fondness for photographing small six-legged things. Disclaimer out of the way...

One of the annoying things about photographing insects in their environment is having to rely upon the weather to bring out the subjects. In winter my macro lens generally gets tucked away in a dark corner to hibernate until the weather starts to get warmer. I envy those in warmer climes, when I see their insect photos posted online throughout the whole year.

With that somewhat placid rant out of the way, here's a brief blog of my first successful macro session of the new year.


Green Nettle Weevil (Phyllobius pomacues)

The primary reason for getting out with macro lens. I love these fellas, and needed to capture a shot of one after seeing all the shots my friend was producing.

The larvae feed on nettle roots, and the adult on the leaves. Although predominantly green, they appear to the eye in a variety of hues depending on the light. The use of a Speedlite just seems to make them appear green.


Mining Bee

A solitary bee, meaning they have no queen, and don't belong to a colony. They prefer to dig their nest - using the jaws concealed beneath that fur - out of firm, sandy soil. A bit like a mine. Hence the name, y'see?

They fill the nest with pollen and nectar before laying their eggs on top. Then this fella comes and ruins everything...


Nomada Bee

I was pretty pleased to see one of these, having never photographed one before. They are beautiful looking insects, if you like that sort of thing.

Also known as a cuckoo bee, they forego the hassle of building a nest, and focus on laying their eggs in the nests of solitary bees like the one above. When the larvae hatch, they kill the host egg or larva, and feast on the pollen and nectar that the solitary bee tirelessly collected for its own young.


Parent Bug (Elasmucha grisea)

I might have the ID wrong here. Apologies if so.

A type of shieldbug that, unusually, continues looking after its young once the eggs hatch.

A nice, lazy photographic subject. They don't move much, making the task of focusing a walk in the park. Which, incidentally, was exactly what I was doing when I spotted her.

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