Saturday, May 26, 2012

WARNING! This blog entry contains insect porn...

Since instigating this blog over a year ago now, I've covered a good number of insect species but I don't think I've included any photos of Craneflies? Until now that is...

A Cranefly (Tipula sp.)
This image was produced using a microscope lens and a set of bellows. It's something I've been experimenting with during the adverse weather conditions and taking in to consideration my lack of real quality lenses, my ageing P.C. that isn't at all amused by being asked to deal with this kind of work and the less than perfect software used, it's getting close to what I could expect to achieve I think.

I don't often do this but by way of a change, here's a black & white version of the image...

And here's a crop of that wonderful green eye....

Craneflies are insects in the Tipulidae family and contrary to popular beliefs, do not bite humans. In fact, most adult craneflies feed on nectar or do not feed at all.

More commonly referred to as daddy-longlegs of course and we all know the larvae as leatherjackets?

There seems to be a bit of a green theme developing here? This caterpillar is a very striking green and one that I photographed a few days ago but I wanted to try and improve on that photo, hence this shot. Although this looks rather painful, it's a typical pose for this species (A Sprawler Moth.)

As you can no doubt tell from the image above, the sprawler moth caterpillar is quite a large thing. Not the biggest caterpillar in the U.K. by some way though. This next photo shows another one that's around at this time of year that is a fair bit bigger. The sprawler can get to around 50mm as an adult but my next offering 'The Drinker' can reach a magnificent 75mm...

This won't be a final instar of this caterpillar, even though it looks quite it could be. How do I know? Well because the following day it moulted...

Notice just how pale and ginger the newly moulted caterpillar is until it gets its full colouring.

As the weather settles (please!) and there's increased activity in the undergrowth that is my hunting ground-I've been spending a little time amusing myself by attempting to add some movement to a few of my photos. 'Mixed results' would best sum-up my efforts thus far but it's early days and we are still at the right end of the season to allow further experiments.

This is a strange beetle called a hazel leaf-roller weevil and as you can see, not exactly the result I was after. I think this'll have to be filed under the heading of 'nearly' and I'm expecting the nearly file to grow to quite a large file over the next few weeks!

Here's another first for this year-a snipe fly...

The Downlooker Snipe Fly
I know, this photo looks as if it's been rotated clockwise but no, this was exactly how I found this fly: perched on the side of  fence-post like this. It's a typical pose and probably how this species became known as the downlooker snipe fly.
They apparently sit like this waiting for passing insects and then grab them in-flight and bring them back to their lookout post to eat.

Whilst on the subject of Diptera (flies) this one, pictured below rejoices in the name of Dung Fly...

It's a pretty little thing isn't it?

Having been kept fairly busy with other things of late, compilation of this entry has now spanned a few days, and during this time the weather has decided that it could be spring after all.
That's good news for my bug-hunting and also for the bugs themselves. This morning when out walking, the invertebrate population seemed to have one thing on their collective minds!

And today's subject is....

When I walked out this morning I decided to take just the little Panasonic Lumix camera with me for a change-the DSLR and all the flash gear is quite restricting and so sometimes it proves quite liberating to be free of it all-of course the resulting shots may not be to the same standard but are still reasonably good.....

The photos above of the little bee were taken with the Lumix set to 'macro' and no Raynox this time.

Well that's just about it for another blog update-I hope you've found something of interest here and I'll be back very soon with another entry.

Until then next time then....


  1. An absorbing read - took a while to get to the porn though!

    Super high mag images of the cranefly. Experimenting with techniques like that is on my 'one day' list, but I think it's a project I might prefer to do with someone else as I think sharing ideas would be fun.

  2. Thanks Rachel. Yes, bit of a tease eh?
    The high-mag for me is trial and error but I do like the experimenting part.

  3. Shouldn't that be insex porn.....
    Another great read JJ, and the usual high quality images. As for the crane fly,thats up there with the best of them. Amazing.


  4. Thanks as always Jason-glad you're still there, let alone taking time to comment!

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