"...mysterious and little known organisms live within walking distance of where you sit. Splendor awaits in minute proportions.”
E.O. Wilson (Biophilia)
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DISCLAIMERI am a photographer, not an entomologist. I do my best to have professionals assist in identifying the subjects of my photographs. However, positive identifications can not always be done unless the specimen is dead and viewed under a microscope. If you do find an error, or have doubts about the identification provided, please let me know in the comments or by email.
Category Archives: Hymenoptera
Most Saturdays mornings my daughter attends an orchestra practice, which often takes place at Wye Hall east of Sherwood Park, Alberta. While she is busy, I have the chance to scoot off to a nearby natural area that lies around the Fultonvale School and sports fields. Because the time is limited, and the walk is for exercise as well as nature appreciation, I don’t have a lot of time to linger. In fact, these photos are from a week ago, the only time in the last week that I had the time to don my bug photographer’s garb and hit the trail. Here’s a sample of the images taken when out on a quick walk (1hour) through the woods, using only the equipment in the lightweight kit and essentials.
Not fair, or even possible – I just don’t know. Here is a freshly emerged parasitoidan organism that lives in or on the body of a single host individual, eventually killing that host. wasp screaming-out for ID…
Near the end of the trail in Elk Island National Park, I spotted a dark jumping spider on the end of a fallen log. Unable to resist Salticids, I hunkered down and began shooting. The spider was not alone on the log, Formica ants were also busy in what appeared to be seed collecting. The spider was being a nuisance, ducking around the log and between old grass stems, so I soon turned my attention to the ants. It’s not often you get a good raised vantage point for photographing ants, and these were busy around several entrance holes in the log, so I managed to get a few pictures of seed-carrying.
The ants have been identified as Formica aserva, which do not harvest seeds, but use them to ornament the outside of nests and nest entrances. Why? No one seems to know.
More information on F. aserva can be found at Navajo Nature.
Thanks to James Glasier for the ID, along with Dan Johnson, James Trager and Alex Wild for the Facebook discussion.
(23 May, 2013. Canon 5D Mk II with Canon MP-E 65mm lens mounted on a Kenko Pro 1.4x tele-extender. ISO 250, 1/200sec. @f16)
If you are a sucker for punishment, below is a video of how I worked the log, with a look at my latest MT-24EX twin-flash diffusion set-up:
(Video made with the Olympus E-PM1 and 14 – 45mm lens)
“The Missing Image”… it looks like it may become a regular feature.
Yesterday I sent out a last-minute request to Colin Hutton for permission to use one of his images for The Week on Sunday series. Of course, I waited too long, and his response came too late…but now I have it! Below is the image that first grabbed my attention on Facebook - not just a fine-looking bug, but a fine image.
Conura amoena is a chalcid wasp which parasitizes the pupae of small butterflies. It is only about 5mm long.
And to repeat yesterday’s introduction:
I don’t think I would be going too far to say that we are in the Golden Age of bug photography. Individuals from around the world are producing amazing photographs - detailed, well designed and sometimes even true works of art. This week I would like to direct you to the work of Colin Hutton, whose fine studio-style work can be seen at Deviant Art and at his website, Colin Hutton Photography. Wow!