Monochamus Take-off

Spruce Sawyer or White-spotted Sawyer (Monochamus scutellatus)

Spruce or White-spotted Sawyer (Monochamus scutellatus)

This Spruce Sawyer is the same beetle that visited me during Rooted in Nature Art Show at Devonian Botanic Gardens. I later took him home for a series of white-background shots, and then released him into the back-garden spruce tree. Fresh spruce did not appeal, perhaps because Monochamus scutellatus prefers their trees well-done, burnt in fact. I was lucky enough to catch this moment, with elytra raised and the wing tips almost completely unfolded, a split second before taking off

How to get a shot like this? Many beetles will seek a high-point before attempting to fly away. If you place your subject at the base of a branch or twig, you will have the time to frame the moment when it reaches the top. If you are lucky, you and the camera’s shutter-lag will be fast enough to catch the moment.

Photographed on 23 July, 2013 with the Canon EOS Rebel T2i (now Canon EOS Rebel T3i DSLR Camera), Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens, Canon Speedlite 580EX II with a LumiQuest Softbox LTp (10 x 14″). ISO 400, 1/125 sec. @ f13.

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This entry was posted in Alberta, Alberta, Behaviour, Camera, Canada, Cerambycidae, Coleoptera, Edmonton, Equipment, Flash, garden, Insect, Lenses, macro, photography, Season, Summer, Technique and tagged , , , , , , .


  1. Ted C. MacRae 10 March, 2014 at 11:33 PM #

    An excellent capture made even better by the great composition.

    • Adrian 11 March, 2014 at 9:20 AM #

      Thanks, Ted! I was lucky it was facing my way when it took off.

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