- Bug Photography, bug art, bug science...Bug Wonder!
"...mysterious and little known organisms live within walking distance of where you sit. Splendor awaits in minute proportions.”
E.O. Wilson (Biophilia)
Copyright© Adrian Thysse and Splendour Awaits. Scroll down for full copyright notice.
Support this blog by ordering here!
B&H Search Engine Banner
Broken Links? Errors? Goof-ups?Please contact me!
Go ahead, search me…
Need Bug ID?
Help support this site!
Top Posts & Pages
- Adrian on Alberta Oil (Beetle)
- Sean McCann on Alberta Oil (Beetle)
- Adrian on The Week on Sunday #31
- Ted C. MacRae on The Week on Sunday #31
- Adrian on Free eBooks by Jean-Henri Fabre.
- Joanna on Free eBooks by Jean-Henri Fabre.
- Sean McCann on Colin Hutton – The Missing Image
- Adrian on From the Funnel’s Mouth
- Sean McCann on From the Funnel’s Mouth
- Adrian on All eyes, no head…
© Adrian Thysse and Splendour Awaits, 2011/2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Adrian Thysse and 'Splendour Awaits', with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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.
Tag Archives: Coleoptera
This is a terrible photo…
This photograph was taken 2006. It was a late summer evening in a campground in northern Alberta. I was walking with my daughter to the washrooms when we came across this longhorn beetle on the nearby concrete. I noted that the antennae were snared by a spider’s web, but due to the urgency of the moment, I took a just quick snap with my zoom lens and then rushed off to answer the call. It was a dramatic find for me, and I rushed back to see if I could catch it and photograph it properly with a macro lens. Alas, it had disappeared, and my opportunity was lost. That was my last contact with a large longhorn beetle.
This morning, early and still bleary-eyed, I opened up my email to find the latest post from Ted MacRae. “Something for Adrian” was the title. Oh no! I thought, what entomological blunder did he find on my blog this time? It must be pretty d….d serious if he is making a blog post about it! With some apprehension I clicked on the link and….
A splendid display of Longhorns! Ted was preparing a shipment of North American Cerambycidae for a collector in Europe when he decided that this was a good time to quell my nagging and photograph the box prior to shipping it (quadruple registered, first class, I hope!). Have a look at his site, and remember that this is just a fraction of his full collection. Look at the neat labeling…the dedication and patience is amazing when you consider it. Thanks Ted!
- A Brazilian longhorned beetle – Oxymerus aculeatus (beetlesinthebush.wordpress.com)
- Crossidius coralinus fulgidus (beetlesinthebush.wordpress.com)
This is Clytus ruricola (Olivier 1795), a long horned beetle (Order Coleoptera, Family Cerambycidae). Kaufman’s indicates that the grubs feed in decaying deciduous trees, particularly maple. I found two of these beetles feeding on thistle (yup, an invasive alien) pollen in Edmonton’s Saskatchewan River valley, on the outskirts of Fort Edmonton. A distinguished-looking beetle, I was excited to come across these after a day of otherwise ho-hum sightings.
This was another case of the female saying (excuse the anthropomorphising), “Get off my back!”. Whether this is a response to having a camera lens observing your intimate habits, or if her partner was sub-standard, or if fertilization was complete, I don’t know. However, shaking off a male tiger beetle isn’t easy–especially if he refuses to listen to the first rapid vibrations from the female. The males jaws are shaped just right to fit over the females thorax, fitting precisely on a groove called the ‘coupling sulcus‘–a species-specific zone on the female thorax that only another male C. hirticollis can latch onto. It takes some active ‘bucking’ to rid the female of the attached male… (Click to enlarge images below)
(Canon T2i , Tamron 180mm DI macro and diffused Canon MT-24EX flash. ISO 400, 1/200 sec. @ f22)
I’ve been looking back at Alex Wild’s and Ted MacRae’s articles that discuss technique. These are two photographers that deal with some of the fastest insects (relatively) running – ants and tiger beetles, and I need their entomological and photographic experience to better understand the skills required to photograph the faster wee beasties. I had my own frustrating attempts at a tiger beetle photography last week on the bed of a dried-out
alkaline pond near Edmonton. This was a single beetle, I saw no others. It seemed to gravitate to the edge of the ‘pond’ so I crouched there in the sun and waited, hoping it would return my way. It would draw closer, but any movement on my part would have it scurrying or flying away. When it did come closer it was very hard to keep in the field of view. I learned to place it in the vewfinder while distant and then follow focus as it came nearer. By doing this and crouching absolutely still, I finally managed a few shots which I thought would work, so I got up and moved back to the path to continue my bug search. Once in the shade I viewed the photographs I had taken so far, checking them on the small D70 screen. To my amazement, all the shots were useless, so I checked over my system to see what had gone awry. I tested the flash and then noticed that the settings had somehow been changed, so that the flash was operating on automatic rather than TTL mode. It was a hot day, and I was with my 14 year old daughter, but I decided to return to the ‘pond’ to do the whole sequence again. While she sat patiently reading a book, I crouched on the dusty pond floor again. Sure enough, I spotted a single tiger beetle ‘beetling’ away in the distance. Crouched over my camera, eye glued to the right-angle viewfinder, I tracked the tiger, ignored the snide comments of passers-by, and waited for the return of ‘my’ tiger beetle.
Finally it was near enough that I could fire-off a few ‘in the habitat’ shots. But as it scuttled closer it became harder and harder to keep the beetle in view. And when it was closer I noticed an odd thing. Although it hardly seems possible in that short moment, the beetle seemed to be reacting to the brief pre-flash that the SB-900 produces before opening the shutter and firing the actual exposure! And sure enough, when he was close enough to provide a good full body profile, the pre-flash twitched him away.
So that is the tale of my first (identifiable) tiger beetle. I know, not much to write home about, but I did say I would share my failures…
So what have I learned?
I need to find a way to turn off the pre-flash on the SB-900
And I need a pre-flight check list to make sure I’m working with all systems up.
But that’s another article…
- Coleopteran Distribution – Douglas County, Missouri (bugsofboogercounty.wordpress.com)