Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Angelica est arrivé

The annual opening of the Angelica is a time to rejoice: the readily-available nectar is a major food resource for many insects, especially those with shorter tongues. Over the next few weeks I expect to photograph bees, wasps, ichneumonids, Ectemnius wasps, moths, beetles, sawflies and butterflies, many of them sharing the large flowerheads. This is a close-up of the social wasp Dolichovespula norwegica, which builds its nest in trees:

Dolichovespula sp. wasps appear to have a 'long face', which can be readily confirmed by the gap between the eye and the jaw.

Episyrphus balteatus is one of the more recognisable hoverflies, due to the unique 'twin-bar' marks on the abdomen:

Having recently shown the White Plume moth, it's nice to show the much more common Emmelina monodactyla plume for comparison:
(These also feed on Convolvulus sp. bindweed)

Family associations are a feature today. This is Udea lutealis, a very common relative of the Udea olivalis micromoth that I showed the other day:

I always think that ferns make an excellent background for insect photos.


acornmoon said...

I am in total admiration at your photographic skills!

Stuart said...

Acorn, you're most kind. You want to see the ones I throw away (or, rather, you don't). The key to many good insect photographs is to anticipate their movement and 'get ahead' of them a little: letting them wander into focus is much better than trying to focus as they're moving. The macro lens on my canon Camera has an ultrasonic focussing system (USM) which is virtually instant.