Sunday, September 23, 2012

I reveal just how hoverflies keep fit...

I recently had to search through some older images that I have stored on the P.C. for a particular few shots and happened upon a couple of unused photos from earlier in the year.

And so now, they are at last seeing the light of day, as I'll start this update by adding them here...

A Weevil (possibly Stophosoma?)

This large weevil was one that I remember finding in mixed woodland on one of my many walks.

The varied carpet beetle (Anthrenus verbasci)
The little beetle pictured above was one that I found in the garden on a white daisy and photographed using a broken lens that had no front glass!

A couple of days ago, my other half said that she'd saved a large beetle that had somehow got itself in an argument with the hoover and lost. Rather than bin it, she had thoughtfully wrapped it in a sheet of kitchen towel, in case I might like to photograph it first?

On unwrapping the towel, I found the beetle you see pictured below-as you can see, it sustained several injuries but I decided it would make an ideal subject for focus stacking....

Lesser Stag Beetle (Dorcus parallelopipedus)
After much consideration, I went for the lesser stag beetle as an identity. Based on the shape of the pronotum and the spine on the tibiae. The other choice would have been a female stag beetle.

I recently posted a photo on flickr of some Sawfly Larvae that were still inside the eggs. It was a shot taken using flash to get as much detail as possible- but I also took a few more natural light photos that give a better overall impression of how they looked in relation to the leaf I found them on...

 Click on photos for a larger view

You can see just how destructive these can be to the host plant, in this case willow. They have only just emerged and yet are demolishing the leaf already.

On the same day I discovered these little things, I also came across some more eggs. This time bug eggs:or at least, bug eggshells, as I think the occupants of these had long gone..

I love those little hinges (or are they catches?) on the eggs. Whichever they are, I am sure they're purpose is to allow an easy exit when the time comes.

I had a second chance to create a focus stack of an insect when I happened upon a lacewing that had somehow managed to fall into a cattle-water trough. At least, I assume it fell in? I certainly didn't push it! In fact, I scooped out several deceased bugs and insects that I may also use for the same purpose.

I photographed these two at x10 mag.

I really will have to try and update the microscope objective from my £1 edition at some stage-it really doesn't have much going for it apart from it is useful to practice with and I suppose, to even get these results is O.K.

Now that most of the summer wild-flowers have finished for this year, it's left to the flea-bane to attract the insects and it does seem to be doing just that. I found a good number of hoverflies on flea-bane in local woodland and even managed to photograph one doing press-ups...

I have included a couple of focus stacked images in this blog entry and this next photo is a good example of how things can go wrong when attempting a hand-held stack in the field.

There's not doubt in my mind that this photo is sharper than a single image would have been, without using a tripod- but there are only two shots that comprise this stack:the third that would have completed it as intended and would have resulted in both wings being in focus, unfortunately was just a little too far out of line to use.

The only other thing to report in this entry is the return of the harvestmen. As you would expect at this time of year, they are emerging in numbers and a variety of shapes, sizes and colours right now...

Dicranopalus ramosus
Until the next time then...

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