Our Children's book is out!
Coccinella septempunctata interacting with a kindhearted (juvenile) specimen of the otherwise ferocious species Homo sapiens
This image is featured in a, soon to be released, book of ours. It's a children's book called "Minimonster i naturen" (= "Mini-monsters in nature" – see, Swedish is easier than it sounds!) and the topic is – surprise, surprise – bugs! Hanna (my wife) is the author and Bruno (our son) is the main character. I'm happy to contribute with the images!
This is a two shot composite of a seven-spot ladybird about to take off from my son's index finger.
Shot with Canon 5DmkII + Nikkor 20/3.5 on a short extension tube. Natural light balanced out with diffused flash in the foreground.
Unidentified Bark louse, Psocoptera
Size: 1.5 mm
This little bark louse is exploring the lamella under the cap of a small mushroom.
Single exposure with diffused flash (DIY Beautydish diffuser). Canon 5DmkII, Canon 270EX, Canon MP-E65 @ 3.7X, 1/30s, f/8, ISO320
Cyanopterus sp. (Ipobracon) Braconidae (ID-cred: D. Quicke)
Size: 7 mm
Found this brightly colored little braconid on a huge beaver felled aspen. I suppose it's targeting wood boring beetle larvae with its ovipositor. Braconids are typically parasitoids, meaning they eventually kill their hosts (unlike true parasites). Because of this, some braconid species are regularly used as biological pest control agents (in particular those targeting aphids).
Single mixed light shot (diffused flash + natural light). Canon 5DmkII, Canon 270EX, Canon MP-E65 @ 2.4X, 1/40s, f/9, ISO400
Mite covered ensign fly
Nemopoda speiseri (Sepsidae) with phoretic mites (ID-cred: P. Beuk)
Size: 6 mm
This little fly was found on a very decayed moose carcass. Almost nothing remained except for the hoofs and a few other bones. Still you could find a few carrion associated bugs, such as this one even though you had to look really closely in the crevices around the hoofs to find any soft tissue left.
I'm adding a few more shots from the carcass in the comment-section on flickr: https://flic.kr/p/qEVhf1
Thes wings of this specimen seem malformed. It was able to fly but only for shorter distances.
Single mixed light exposure (direct sun and diffused flash). Canon 5DmkII, Canon 270EX, Canon MP-E65 @ 2.7X (and cropped), 1/125s, f/13, ISO400
Phantom Midge Larva
Phantom Midge Larva
Size: 6-7 mm
My son and I caught this larva (along with various other aquatic bugs) in a nearby puddle in the woods the other day. We brought them with us home for closer study! I've posted some more shots from the occasion on the blog »
The mosquito larvae ended up as much appreciated dinner for the fishes in our aquarium – but first I had to snap a few shots of them.
Canon 5DmkII + Canon MP-E65 + Canon 270EX.
Single handheld shot at 3.7X, 1/100s, f/11, ISO200
Ostoma parking lot
Ostoma ferruginea, Trogossitidae
Size 8-10 mm
These flattened beetles are closely associated with brown-rot fungi (such as Fomitopsis pinicola or Antrodia xantha) and you find them in rotting wood. These were found underneath the bark and/or inside the wood of a large rotting spruce.
This wide angle close-up was shot in 2013 as part of a book project I've mentioned here: https://flic.kr/p/geivZ3
More shots in the comment section on flickr: https://flic.kr/p/qHh32b
Single handheld natural light exposure . Canon 5DmkII, Nikon Nikkor 28/2.8 AI-s, Nikon K1 extension tube | 0.5s, f/16, ISO200
Drilling for hosts II
Echthrus sp. (probably), Cryptinae, Ichneumonidae
ID-cred: I. Österblad & G. Várkonyi
Size: 8 mm
These wasps find their hosts using echo-localization. They rapidly tap their antennae like drumsticks against the wood surface and the echoing vibrations are then picked up by their slightly enlarged front legs (tibia).
Found and shot at the same location as the previous post. Beavers have been working hard here – hundreds of felled trees (mainly aspens) are providing excellent breeding sites for a large variety of insects.
I found many other interesting species on the very same log (see in the comment section on flickr: https://flic.kr/p/qqgMZu
Stacked from 6 handheld mixed light (natural light + diffused flash) exposures in Zerene Stacker.
Canon 5DmkII, diffused Canon 270EX, Canon MP-E65 @ 2.4X, 1/60, f/10, ISO400
Brown Hawker Encounter
Aeshna grandis (on my son's finger)
Size: 70 mm
This dragonfly seemed a bit lethargic when we first found it close to the ground by the path. At first we thought something was wrong with it but soon we realized it was probably just cold – after a couple of minutes sitting on my sons finger it seemed to came to and eventually flew away.
Single exposure made with Sony NEX-7, Sony E 18-55 OSS + short extension tube. Natural light + diffused pop-up flash.
I'm adding another couple of shots from this encounter (made with the same gear) in the comment section on flickr: https://flic.kr/p/qHwRu4
♂♂ Machimus atricapillus (Tolmerus atricapillus)
Size: 14 mm
A male robberfly feeding on a defeated rival.
This is a handheld mixed light stack shot in August 2014.
16 exposures stacked in Zerene Stacker.
Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65, Canon 270EX + DIY beautydish diffuser | 1/100s, f/6.3, ISO100.
Flat bug family
Aneurus avenius Aradidae, male + larvae
ID-cred: CC Coulianos
Size: 5 mm (adult specimen)
You typically find these peculiar, almost two-dimensional, bugs under bark. I'm somewhat puzzled by they "bullseye" pattern on the back of the larvae – any theories?
Single exposure, Canon 5DmkII + Canon MP-E65 + Canon 270EX flash with yoghurt-bottle diffuser.