“…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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© Adrian Thysse and Splendour Awaits, 2009 - 2015.
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DISCLAIMERI am a photographer, not a biologist. 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 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.
Tag Archives: Coleoptera
Late summer: shorter days and cooler nights. This week we’ve had frost most nights, and it’s still not the middle of September.
Last week, a walk along the damp sand and stone shoreline of the North Saskatchewan River found me overlooking a sandy opening up on the riverbank. a clearing in the shoreline tangle of plant growth about one metre up on the first terrace above the water. Beneath me,
half sunk, a shatter’d visage lies darting over the sand, were about a half-dozen tiger beetles.
A closer look at the open area revealed a scattering of the D-shaped holes that typify those used by Cicindelids. Leaning over the terrace, and carefully scanning the holes, I first found two with tiger beetles waiting near the entrances, just within the shadows. The darted back into the darkness as I drew near. Other holes showed more activity…the reversing rear-end of a beetle as it swept sand out-of-the-way before disappearing down the burrow again.
And the holes were relatively deep, judging from the time that it took for their
little butts posterior abdomens to become visible again, their legs sweeping out still more sand. These are the tunnels for winter hibernation, and at some point in the season when the days remain too cold, they will stay down there. Before long the shifting sands will cover the holes, and tiger beetles will become just a memory until they, conditions permitting, emerge again in spring. Kinda sounds like me…
(Image info: North Saskatchewan River, Edmonton, 5 September, 2014. Canon 5D Mk II, Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens on a Kenko Teleplus PRO 300 DGX 1.4x AF Teleconverter. Lighting with a single diffused Canon Speedlite 270EX II. All photos ISO 200, 1/160 sec. @ f16. Image cropped and processed in Lightroom 5)
I thought this webinar was locked-up by the ESA, but the video is now on Youtube, so everyone can see Ted’s excellent
Adven webcast on photographing Tiger beetles and other insects. This is the first time that I can recall any bug photographer giving such detailed information on how to stalk bugs, and of course, it is laced with many of his fine images.
Longhorns Beetles (Coleoptera, Family Cerambycidae) can be a bit of a challenge to photograph well, because the antennae are so long that they are hard to include in the photo without all or part of the length being out of focus. As macro photographers we must choose carefully what part of the subject will be in focus, because the depth of field is always shallow. As a rule, the eye is the most important feature to keep in focus. Some photographers choose to close in on the beetle and leave the ‘horns’ severely clipped at the image borders, however, by carefully aligning both the beetle and the closer antenna on the same plane, it is possible to get an acceptable appearance of focus throughout. The other alternative is a direct dorsal photograph of a chilled or pinned specimen, with antenna flat, but this does not give the lively look that is most pleasing.
However, there is another approach. Treat your longhorn like a portrait photographer would, and ask it to – “…tilt your head just a little bit this way”, and …”now a little bit to the right” and”… lift your chin a bit…that’s it! Hold it!”
Live beetle donated by a kindly visitor to my booth at the Rooted in Nature Art Show at Devonian Botanic Gardens!
Just back from a family holiday to BC! Here’s a shot from before the break, the same beetles that I photographed earlier.
Long-lipped tiger beetles on white. Not chilled, not frozen, not stunned…just amazingly compliant and clumsy when occupied this way.
Soon after this image was taken, the female did manage to throw off the male, and after moments of stunned immobility, they both flew off.