Platycerus

Platycerus

Platycerus caraboides, stag beetle
Size: 12 mm

Found this male stag beetle on a timothy spike (Phleum pratense) an early morning in May.

Stacked from 51 natural light exposures in Zerene Stacker.

Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65 @ 2X, f/6.3, 0.6s, ISO200

Sawfly larva on Hypericum

Sawfly larva on Hypericum

Tenthredo sp.?,  (Tenthredinidae anyway)
Size: 13 mm

I've found sawfly larvae like this one on St John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) in the past as well. I'm guessing it's not a coincidence but I wonder if it's a species specific relationship.

A single, natural light exposure.

Sony NEX-7, Sigma 180/3.5 @ 1/15s, f/9, ISO100

Four-spotted Orb Weaver II

Four-spotted Orb Weaver II

 

Araneus quadratus♀, Araneidae

Size (body): 16 mm

 

This is an early morning stack of an adult female orb weaver on an old orpine flower (Hylotelephium).

 

This was shot on a cold morning in mid-september 2013 and the subject patiently posed for several stackning sequences from different angles.

 

Stacked from 82 natural light exposures in Zerene Stacker.

 

Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65 @ 1.8X, 0.5s, f/6.3, ISO100

Sleeping heads down

Sleeping heads down

 

Anthidium punctatum ♂

Size: 6 mm

 

These little bees predictably show up every year at my favorite shooting location. They sleep like this, clamped down on some delicate piece of vegetation using their mouthparts (mandibles) alone. When approached carefully they make easy subjects!

 

Stacked from 31 natural light exposures in Zerene Stacker.

 

Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65 @ 2.7X, 0.6s, f/5.6, ISO200

Feathery Thorn

Feathery Thorn

 

Colotois pennaria ♂ ID-cred: H. Elmquist

Size: 20 mm (wingspan: 40 mm)

 

This is a partially flash-lit morning stack of a moth attracted to a light during the night. It was quite windy and for protection against the wind I used a small light tent (which I actually had to secure with heavy bricks!).

 

This work decently but I often find the light inside the tent to be too even and dull. With a clear sky and in direct sunlight it's usually decent (at least since I've replaced the back wall with translucent plastic) but on a cloudy day such as this one the light inside the tent is just boring.

 

Nevertheless I shot several "natural" light stacks from different angles inside the tent, trying to make the most of this (most cooperative) subject.

 

I realized I had my flash in the camera bag and eventually shot this 38 image sequence with the flash positioned outside to the tent hitting the left wall.

 

Canon 5DmkII, Canon 270EX, Canon MP-E65 @ 3.7X, 1/5s, f/6.3, ISO200

Four-spotted Orb Weaver

Four-spotted Orb Weaver

 

Araneus quadratus♀, Araneidae

Size (body): 16 mm

 

This is an early morning stack of an adult female orb weaver on an old orpine flower (Hylotelephium).

 

This was shot on a cold morning in mid-september 2013 and the subject patiently posed for several stackning sequences from different angles.

 

I used a small aluminum reflector to bounce some light onto the subject (from below right) and a circular polarizer to control reflections.

 

Stacked from 58 natural light exposures in Zerene Stacker.

 

Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65 @ 2.2X, 0.4s, f/6.3, ISO200

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Well Worn Bee Fly, dorsal view

Well Worn Bee Fly, dorsal view

 

Lomatia lateralis Bombyliidae

Size: 8-9 mm

 

Dorsal view of the bee fly introduced in the previous post.

 

This was a particularly colorful specimen but it also showed significant signs of a tough life – the wings were quite worn (but perfectly useful for flight as it turned out).

 

Shot in July 2013 and stacked from 31 natural light exposures in Zerene Stacker.

 

Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65 @ 2.0X, 0.4s, f/6.3, ISO200

Well Worn Bee Fly

Well Worn Bee Fly

Lomatia lateralis Bombyliidae

Size: 8-9 mm

 

This was a particularly colorful specimen but it also showed significant signs of a tough life – the wings were quite worn (but perfectly useful for flight as it turned out).

 

Shot in July 2013 and stacked from 56 natural light exposures in Zerene Stacker.

 

Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65 @ 2.0X, 0.8s, f/6.3, ISO200

Dewy Wings

Dewy Wings

 

Issoria lathonia, Nymphalidae

Body length: 17 mm

 

This shows a portion of the wings (where the fore and hind wings overlaps) of the Queen of Spain Fritillary from the past two posts.

 

19 exposures stacked in Zerene Stacker.

 

Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65 @ 3.3x (and cropped), 1/13s, f/5.6

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Lypusa

Lypusa

 

Lypusa maurella, ID-cred: H. Elmquist

Size: 7 mm

 

It's almost difficult to imagine a more nondescript insect than this little moth. But its bland and featureless exterior takes nothing away from the elegant posture at the very tip of this grass leaf.

 

40 natural light exposures stacked in Zerene Stacker.

 

Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65 @ 3.0X, 1/4s, f/4.5, ISO100

Oxyptilus

Oxyptilus

 

Oxyptilus sp. (ID-cred: H. Elmqvist)

Body length: 8 mm

 

Early morning stack of this small plume moth. This was actually another case in which I employed the local stacking technique described in a recent post (see this youtube clip:youtu.be/CVxL_vk6CZU )

 

28 natural light exposures stacked in Zerene Stacker.

 

Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65 @ 2X, 1/8s, f/6.3, ISO200

Hybotid

Hybotid

 

Unidentified dance fly, Hybotidae

Size: 4 mm

 

These little flies are predators. You often see them with prey which they hold onto in a rather unusual manner: they pinch it between the enlarged and spiky femur and tibia of their hind legs.

 

36 natural light exposures stacked in Zerene Stacker.

 

Canon 5DmkII + Canon MP-E65 @ 3.3X, 1/8s, f/5, ISO200

Sweat bee on plantain

Sweat bee on plantain

Sweat bee on plantain

Lasioglossum cf. leucozonium

Size: 6 mm

 

A small dew covered sweat bee on a dry plantain flower. Shot in late July 2013.

 

Stacked from 46 natural light exposures in Zerene Stacker. I used a technique I call "localized stacking" to get rid of some ugly stacking artifacts around the antennae (which moved during the course of the sequence). I've uploaded a clip explaining how this works to youtube: youtu.be/CVxL_vk6CZU

 

Canon 5DmkII, Nikon PB-6 bellows, Schneider-Kreuznach Apo-Componon 60/4 @ 1s, f/6.3, ISO200

Carpocoris II

Carpocoris II

 

Carpocoris purpureipennis

Size: 11 mm

 

I wasn't really satisfied with the angle in the last post. I posted it mainly in order to refer back to it from this post. After I shot the first sequence I wanted to try a few alternative framings/angles. The bug had other ideas though – it was moving more and more, and I wasn't able to get any other "complete" series.

 

This image shows what became of one of these attempts. In this case I only got 8 frames before the bug literally walked out of the frame. I usually delete these failed attempts if the subject moves before I even managed to get at least one eye in focus. In this case I couldn't bring myself to delete the series though and decided to stack the few frames I had. For me this is a good reminder that these "fails" are sometimes at least as good as what I originally had in mind.

 

Well, I certainly prefer this one over the one in the previous post! (If you have an opinion I'd appreciate if you let me know!)

 

8 natural light exposures stacked in Zerene Stacker.

 

Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65 @ 1.5X, 0,3s, f/6.3, ISO200

Carpocoris

Carpocoris

 

Carpocoris purpureipennis

Size: 11 mm

 

This rather washed-out specimen was perched on a dry filipendula-flower.

 

29 natural light exposures stacked in Zerene Stacker.

 

Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65 @ 1.2X, 0.3s, f/6.3, ISO200

Atylotus portrait

Atylotus portrait

 

Atylotus rusticus ♂, Tabanidae, (ID-cred: T. Zeegers)

Size: 15 mm

 

A closer view of the horse fly from the previous post.

 

As I moved closer the fly began going through its meticoulus grooming routine. If you're somewhat familiar with flies you'll know what I'm talking about: wiping eyes – rubbing legs – wiping eyes – rubbing legs...

 

It would pause for a few seconds here and there – just enough for me to get my hopes up. Finally I lost my patience and smacked my hands together right above the lens. This startled it just long enough for me to get the 40 exposure sequence used in this stack. You can almost see how eager it is to lift those front legs and continue its routine :)

 

Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65 @ 3.3X, 0.4s, f/5.6, ISO400

Atylotus ♂

Atylotus ♂

 

Atylotus rusticus ♂, Tabanidae, (ID-cred: T. Zeegers)

Size: 15 mm

 

This horse fly species was a nice new acquaintance for me last summer. Like in most horse flies, females of this species needs a nice "pint" of blood, preferably mammalian, before they are ready to reproduce. Males on the other hand, are strictly vegan, feeding on nectar and pollen.

 

Typically this means you'll only ever find female tabanids (or they find you rather). So I'm a bit surprised to only have come across males of this species so far.

 

Horse flies are extremely fast fliers – often referred to as the fastest among all flying insects. Looking at the body shape of this fly I can't help but noticing what appears to be an almost aerodynamically perfect adaptation!

 

Shot early in the morning and stacked from 16 natural light exposures using Zerene Stacker.

 

Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65 @ 1.4X, 1/4s, f/7.1, ISO200

Droplet Cradle

Droplet Cradle

A tiny (probably juvenile) orbweever Araneidae

Body length: 3 mm

 

Early morning stack of this spider on a dry Filipendula-flower. Shot in August 2013.

 

Stacked from 50 natural light exposures in Zerene Stacker.

 

If you have the ability to view cross-view stereograms I suggest you have a look at the 3D-verison:


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2048px:farm8.staticflickr.com/7388/12139064586_0e0c5104cf_k.jpg
Flash: morfa.se/vu2/index.html?imageTwo=http://farm8.staticflick...

Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65 @ 3X, 1/15s, f/5.6, ISO200

 

Transformation imminent

Transformation imminent

 

Comma caterpillar, Polygonia c-album Lepidoptera

Size: 25 mm

 

This caterpillar has spun a nice anchor point and is about to begin pupation.

 

Stacked from 29 natural light exposures in Zerene Stacker.

 

Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65 @ 1X, 1/10s, f/7.1, ISO200

 

I did a second sequence – slightly closer and with a larger aperture consisting of 62 frames. I preferred the composition in the lower magnification view but the second sequence was better suited for rendering a synthetic crossed-eyes stereogram (see comment-section).

 

Hopper on Birch

Hopper on Birch

Hopper on Birch

Idiocerus cf. laminatus

Size: 5 mm

 

Members of this group of leaf hoppers are apparently difficult to ID with species precision. This one was found an photographed on a young birch (Betula sp.) an early morning in September 2013.

 

42 natural light exposures stacked in Zerene Stacker.

 

Canon 5DmkII, Nikon PB-6 bellows, reversed Schneider-Kreuznach Apo-Componon 60/4 @ 4.5X, 1/8, f/5.

Metellina ♀ ♂

Metellina ♀ ♂

 

Metellina sp. (probably segmentata or mengei) ♀(left), ♂(right)

Body length ≈ 5 mm

 

Composite view of a couple of Metellina-spiders found close to each other. Both are early morning, natural light stacks shot in early September 2013.

 

Left image: 24 exposures @ 1/4s, f/7.1, ISO200.

Right image: 10 exposures @ 1/4s, f/7.1, ISO200

 

Canon 5DmkII, Nikon PB-6 bellows, Reversed Schneider-Kreuznach Apo-Componon 60/4

Tiny Cuckoo Wasp

Tiny Cuckoo Wasp

 

Pseudomalus auratus ID-cred: J. Abenius

Size: 4 mm

 

This tiny jewel wasp was shot @ 5:1 an early morning in July 2013. It was just about to "wake up" so I had to hurry and I only had time for this this (diffraction limited) 19 exposure sequence before the wasp was on the move.

 

Stacked from 19 natural light exposures in Zerene Stacker.

 

Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-e65 @ 5.0X, 1.3s, 7.1s, ISO200

Slender Robber

Slender Robber

 

Leptogaster cylindrica, Asilidae

Size: 15 mm

 

I had many encounters with this species in the summer of 2013. I believe this specimen is a female.

 

Stacked from 35 natural light exposures in Zerene Stacker.

 

Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65 @ 2.2X, 1.3s, f/7.1, ISO200

Cryptocephalus sericeus

Cryptocephalus sericeus

 

Cryptocephalus sericeus ♂

Size: 6 mm

 

This fall beetle is clinging to a Brown Knapweed flower (Centaurea jacea).

 

Stacked from 48 natural light exposures in Zerene Stacker.

 

Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65 @ 2.7X, 1/5s, f/5.0, ISO200

Cryptocephalus moraei

Cryptocephalus moraei

Cryptocephalus moraei

4 mm

 

I'm sure you can guess what this little fall beetle is up to. But perhaps there is more to it than meets the eye? Fall beetles often camouflage their eggs among these fecal pellets.

 

This particular fall beetle made a point of showing the appropriateness of its common name: as I carefully moved in for a higher magnification stack it fell to the ground and disappeared.

 

Shot in July 2013 and stacked from 19 natural light exposures in Zerene Stacker.

 

Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65 @ 2X (cropped), 1/6s, f/7.1, ISO200

Winged ant for breakfast

Winged ant for breakfast

Xysticus sp. (Thomisidae) with Lasius queen (I'm guessing L. niger)

Body length: 5 mm

 

On the evening before the Lasius ants had swarmed in huge numbers. This was a very common sight the next morning – I must have seen 20 or 30 of these crab spiders feeding on queen ants. The spiders are well camouflaged and are easily overlooked but when virtually every spider has caught a juicy ant for breakfast they stand out more and it becomes apparent how many of them there are!

 

Stacked from 28 natural light exposures in Zerene Stacker.

 

Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65 @ 1.8X, 0.4s, f/6.3, ISO200

Carpocoris

Carpocoris

 

Carpocoris cf. fuscispinus Carpocoris purpureipennis ID-cred: C.C. Coulianos

Size: 8 mm

 

In Sweden we have two Carpocoris species and I find plenty of both (adults are relatively easy to tell apart) at this site.

 

12 natural light exposures stacked in Zerene Stacker.

 

Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65, 1s, f/5.0, ISO200

Lepyrus

Lepyrus

Lepyrus

Lepyrus capucinus ID-cred: Stanislav Snäll

Size: 12.3 mm

 

This species is red listed in Sweden (NT category). It was shot an early morning in July 2013.

 

35 natural light exposures stacked in Zerene stacker.

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Hazel ♂|♀

Hazel ♂|♀

 

Corylus avellana

 

Hazel flowers are monoecious – the pollen is transferred by wind from the long hanging male catkins to the tiny (a few mm) pinkish females. They flower very early in the spring – these were shot now (April 2nd) and they are both well past their prime.

 

Stacked from 20 and 42 frames respectively.

 

Canon 5DmkII + Canon MP-E65

Great minds think alike...

Great minds think alike...

...instinctive behavior seldom differ?

 

In any case, this was a well chosen place to spend the night: it was one of very few places spared from severe frost.

A tick Ixodes ricinus and a small spider (juvenile Tetragnatha sp.perhaps?)

Body length: 3,5 mm

 

Early morning stack shot during just a few days ago. There was not much life around visible except from these two.

 

43 natural light exposures stacked in Zerene Stacker.

Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65 @ 5X (slightly cropped), 1/5s, f/5.0, ISO200

Hornet Robberfly

Hornet Robberfly

Asilus crabroniformis
28 mm

Arguably the largest and most impressive fly species of northern Europe.

They seem to constantly be on the hunt for prey and they don't hesitate to attack even large insects such as dragonflies.

This summer I caught one in order to measure it's size. While handling it I was quite surprised when it actually managed to puncture the skin on my finger with its proboscis (not a pleasant feeling)! I've never experienced a robber using it's proboscis in defence before.

This is a late evening stack from 18 natural light exposures.

Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65 @ 1.0X, 1/5s, f/5.0, ISO250

More info: https://flic.kr/p/qudUcM

 

Mating Jewel Beetles

Mating Jewel Beetles

Agrilus sp., Buprestidae
7-8 mm

A mating jewel beetle couple on beaver felled aspen (Populus tremula).

Stacked from 10 handheld mixed light exposures in Zerene Stacker.

Canon 5DmkII, Canon 270EX with DIY diffuser, Canon MP-E65 @ 2.2X, 1/8s, f/6,3, ISO400

More on flickr: https://flic.kr/p/pUM2Vm

Cardinal Beetle Larva

Cardinal Beetle Larva

Pyrochroa coccinea larva

 

Size: 25 mm

 

Natural light stacks of this cardinal beetle larva found underneath the bark of an old willow (Salix caprea).

 

Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65

Vestigial Legs

Vestigial Legs

 

Issoria lathonia, Nymphalidae

Body length: 17 mm

 

A closer (2.2X) view of the butterfly featured in the last couple of posts!

 

In this image you can clearly see the vestigial front leg in its typical folded up state (with its knee just below the eye)! These guys are practically four-legged.

 

50 exposures stacked in Zerene Stacker.

 

Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65@ 2.2X, 1/20s, f/5.6, ISO200

Sign of spring?

Sign of spring?

Melting frost crystals on a dry grass leaf from last year.

 

As the sun rises above the tree line the frost crystals melt in a matter of minutes. The dry grass in the background takes on a distinctly golden tone. 

 

Stacked from 37 natural light exposures in Zerene Stacker.

 

Canon 5DmkII + reversed Pentacon 50/1.8 on Olympus telescopic extension tube.

 

This image was shot as a part of a project where this 50mm lens is sent around the world to 50 different photographers.

Frost Survivor

Frost Survivor

Anthomyiidae (I think)

Size: 6 mm

 

Found this fly slowly treading over this frosty stalk just as the sun was coming over the tree line. Minutes later all the frost was gone. I'm guessing the fly had spent the night in a slighly more sheltered place and emerged at the first sight of sunlight.

 

19 natural light exposures stacked in Zerene Stacker.

 

Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65 @ 2.4X, 1/5s, f/5.6, ISO200

Frost

Frost

Grass leaf covered in frost. Nights and early mornings are still cold here in Stockholm, Sweden (April 2014)! 

 

37 natural light exposures stacked in Zerene Stacker

 

Canon 5DmkII + Canon MP-E65

Gymnosoma from behind

Gymnosoma from behind

 

Gymnosoma sp., Tachinidae

Size: 6 mm

 

This was shot in 2012 but I've disregarded it because of wing movements causing major artifacts in the stacking process. I revisited it now and applied the local stacking technique (described this an earlier post») which solved the problems I was having. So, think twice before throwing problematic stacking sequences away – who knows what we'll be able to fix in the future :)

 

73 natural light expoures stacked in Zerene Stacker. It moved both wings independently so I had to run two separate local stacks.

 

Canon 5DmkII, Nikon PB-6 bellows, reversed Apo-Componon 40/2,8.

Small Soldier Fly

Small Soldier Fly

Stratiomyidae. Possibly Microchrysa sp.

Size: 5 mm

 

A single exposure of a little soldier fly taking a sip of dew from this dry grass spike.

 

The fly was quite active but I did get a couple of short stacks as well. In this case I preferred this "single" image. It's f/8 but manually patched with a few pixels from an otherwise identical f/5.6 exposure (for less diffraction in the focused parts).

 

Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65 @ 4.3X, 1s, f/5.5 & f/8, ISO100

World's most photographed beetle?

World's most photographed beetle?

Coccinella septempunctata
Size: 8 mm

Certainly not the most exotic coleopteran out there, but I kind of like the mood in this one.

Early morning stack shot back in June. It was a rather windy morning but the light was nice – not too even, not too harsh.

21 frames stacked in Zerene Stacker. Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65 @ 1/6s, f/6,3, ISO200

More info: https://flic.kr/p/qvw4Eb

 

Hornet Robberfly II

Hornet Robberfly II

Asilus crabroniformis
28 mm

This is the large robberfly featured in the previous post from a different perspective and in a more active pose.

This stack was shot in the evening and is rendered from 31 natural light exposures combined in Zerene Stacker.

Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65 @ 1.0X, 1/5s, f/8.0, ISO400

More info: http://flic.kr/p/quJdn3

 

 

Ruby Whiteface II

Ruby Whiteface II

Leucorrhinia rubicunda
Size: 35 mm

Wide angle close-up of the dragonfly from the last post.

Shot 05:33 a summer morning at my favorite spot, with a Sony NEX-7 and the cheap but well performing little kit-zoom (18-55 mm 3,5-5,6 OSS @ 19 mm, 1/30s, f/11, ISO400 )

https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnhallmen/16055023751/

Queen of Spain Fritillary

Queen of Spain Fritillary

 

Issoria lathonia, Nymphalidae

Body length: 17 mm

 

Early morning stack of this butterfly resting on dry filipendula. This migrating species fluctuates significantly in numbers from year to year here in Sweden. Generally it's rather scarce but some years they show up in larger numbers. This was shot in 2013 (August) which I think would qualify as a mediocre year for this species in Sweden.

 

Stacked from 26 natural light exposures in Zerene Stacker.

 

Canon 5DmkII + Canon MP-E65 @ 1X, 1/100s, f/5, ISO200

Sympecma

Sympecma

Winter Damselfly, Sympecma fusca

Early morning stack shot in May 2014 during a macro workshop I held.

Some tricky direct sunlight hitting the subject from behind/left. Obviously this would have been easy to diffuse/shade but I wanted to capture how the sun highlighted the fine hairs on head and thorax and the well defined leg shadow on the grass.

23 natural light exposures stacked in Zerene Stacker.

Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65 @ 2.2X, 0.4s, f/6.3, ISO200

 

Ruby Whiteface

Ruby Whiteface

Leucorrhinia rubicunda
Size: 35 mm

Early morning stack of this Ruby Whiteface, shot in June 2014.

Stacked from 19 natural light exposures in Zerene Stacker.

Canon 5DmkII, Nikon PB-6 bellows, Apo-Componon 90/4,5.

https://flic.kr/p/qbjVb9

Queen of Spain Fritillary II

Queen of Spain Fritillary II

 

Issoria lathonia, Nymphalidae

Body length: 17 mm

 

Normally I wouldn't post two such similar images but in this case I thought it was interesting to note how the light changed in just 10 minutes. Here, the sun has come up more and it's now shining on the meadow in the background. In this time, while I was busy with another subject, the butterfly had moved to a slightly higher position but still remained on the same plant.

 

25 exposures stacked in Zerene Stacker.

 

Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65 @ 1X, 1/80s, f/5.6

Pearly Heath on Allium

Pearly Heath on Allium

Coenonympha arcania, pearly heath
Wingspan ≈ 35 mm

I peculiar detail that I didn't notice while shooting this, is how it got its proboscis curled around its leg.

Stacked from 17 natural light exposures in Zerene Stacker.

Sony NEX-7, Sigma 180/3.5 @ 0.5s, f/11, ISO100

Robber and noctuid eggs

Robber and noctuid eggs

Machimus (Tolmerus) atricapillus
Size: 15 mm

This grass spike was almost completely covered in noctuid (moth) eggs. I don't think this robber fly took much notice though.

Stacked from 10 natural light exposures in Zerene Stacker.

A few additional shots in the first comment on flickr, including one showing the setup.

Canon 5DmkII, Schneider-Kreuznach Apo-Componon 90/4,5 (reversed), Nikon PB-6 bellows.

 

Hylaeus Bee

Hylaeus Bee

Hylaeus confusus, Colletidae (ID-cred: G. Holmström) 
Size: 7 mm

These little bees have interesting front legs. They appear smaller and weaker than the the remaining four legs and are often kept elevated like in this image. I've noticed they often use them for cleaning etcetera, so they are certainly not useless. Still, they remind me a little of the vestigial front legs you'll find in certain butterfly species.

This is another stack shot during my trip to the isolated island Gotska Sandön in the Baltic sea.

Stacked from 17 natural light exposures in Zerene stacker. 

Sony NEX-7, Canon MP-E65 @ f/5.6, 0.5s, ISO100

Framed bee

Framed bee

Melittidae? 
Size: 8 mm

Early morning stack from mid July 2015.

I thought this bee had framed itself so nicely I couldn't resist shooting it from this angle. When I was done with the sequence I wanted to turn it around in my subject clamp in order to shoot it laterally and dorsally for ID-purposes. However, I was clumsy and nudged the clamp with my foot. When I looked up the bee was gone, so this is all I have...

29 natural light exposures stacked in Zerene Stacker.

Sony NEX-7, Sigma 180/3,5 @ f/8, 1/5s, ISO200

Xysticus on Geranium

Xysticus on Geranium

Xysticus cf. cristatus (Thomisidae) ID-cred: T. Holmgren
Size: 8 mm

A female crab spider on the colorful leaves of Geranium macrorrhizum. Despite the fall colors this image was actually taken in mid July. Judging from the girth of her abdomen I'm guessing this spider is about to lay eggs.

Stacked from 14 natural light exposures in Zerene Stacker.

Sony NEX-7, Sigma 180/3.5 @ 1/20s, f/8, ISO100

Megachilid on rose II

Megachilid on rose II

Megachile willughbiella
Size: 8-9 mm

A closer view of the bee from the previous post. The bee is "waking up" here and paused it's morning grooming enough for me to shoot a quick sequence of shots. Shortly after shooting this, it wiped it's antennae and flew away as shown in this youtube clip.

The enlarged hairy front legs are used to cover the eyes of the female during the mating ritual.

Stacked from 29 natural light exposures in Zerene Stacker.

Sony NEX-7 + Canon MP-E65 @ 4X, 1/6s, f/7.1, ISO100

Megachilid on rose

Megachilid on rose

♂ Megachile willughbiella
Size: 8-9 mm

The enlarged hairy front legs are used to cover the eyes of the female during the maing ritual. 

Stacked from 31 natural light exposures in Zerene Stacker.

Sony NEX-7, Sigma 180/3.5 @ slightly below 1:1, 1/30s, f/8.0, ISO100.

Large Mayfly

Large Mayfly

Ephemera vulgata ♂ (ID-cred: C. Raper) Ephemeridae
Size: 19 mm

These spend 2-3 years as larvae but very short time as adults (a few days). They do not feed as adults (and lack functioning mouthparts) but are completely focused on reproduction. In essence, they finish off their life as flying genitals.

Stacked from 25 natural light exposures in Zerene Stacker.

Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65 @ 1X (slightly cropped), 1/20s, f/5.6, ISO200

Here I've experimented with a polarizer as well (since the sun was causing some troublesome highlights). Not something I typically do but perhaps worth considering from time to time.

 

Fox Moth II

Fox Moth II

Macrothylacia rubi
Wingspan ≈ 60 mm

A frontal view of the fox moth I posted a dorsal view of a couple of weeks ago.

Stacked from 45 natural light exposures in Zerene Stacker.

Sony NEX-7, Sigma 180/3,5 @ 1/6s, f/8, ISO100

Postfire forest

Postfire forest

Neoitamus sp. (Asilidae), (ID-cred: P. Hall & M. Persson)
Size: 13 mm

This was shot during a trip to a huge wildfire area in June. The forest fire raged in the summer of 2014 and was declared a national emergency, eventually encompassing 17,000 hectares.

Though this fire was of course a traumatic event for many local residents it has undeniably created an interesting and valuable environment from a biological standpoint. Especially since a fairly large portion of the fire area has now been protected as a natural reserve, many species will benefit from the fire.

Stanislav and I have made a few trips to this area and this was shot during an early morning session in June this year. We found plenty of these fairly small robberflies scattered in the singed pine twigs. The dark background is a tree stump, turned into charcoal by the fire. 

Stacked from 30 natural light exposures in Zerene Stacker.

Sony NEX-7, Canon MP-E65 @ f/5.6, 1/4s, ISO100

Sleeping on Bedstraw

Sleeping on Bedstraw

A cuckoo wasp Holopyga generosa sleeping on lady's bedstraw (Galium verum)
Size: 7 mm

During this very dark season I've found processing summer shots to have an almost therapeutic effect! This is an early morning stack from July 2015.

Stacked from 29 natural light exposures in Zerene Stacker.

Sony NEX-7, Canon MP-E65 @ f/6.3, 0.5s, ISO100

Gaurotes virginea

Gaurotes virginea

Gaurotes virginea, Cerambycidae
Size: 10 mm

Early morning stack of this little long horn beetle on a cow parsely flower (Anthriscus sylvestris).

Stacked from 55 natural light exposures in Zerene stacker. 

Sony NEX-7, Canon MP-E65 @ 0.4s, f/6,3, ISO100

Ladybug on fern

Ladybug on fern

Cocinella septempunctata, Seven spot ladybird
8 mm

I've already dubbed it the world's most photographed beetle in a previous post so I wasn't sure about posting this one. But... this was such a beutiful specimen and it's perched on the underside of a fern leaf, packed with sori.

Stacked from 39 natural light exposures in Zerene Stacker.

Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65 @ 2.2X, 1/5s, f/5.6, ISO100

Fairy Moth

Fairy Moth

♂ Adela cuprella Adelidae
7.5 mm

The most prominent feature of these little moths is arguably their very long antennae. In males they are several times longer than the body – see comment section for a lower magnification view. On closer inspection I think I find their metallic scales to be an even more attractive feature though.

Stacked from 27 natural light exposures in Zerene Stacker.

Canon 5DmkII, Canon MP-E65 @ 3.7X, 1/15s, f/5.6 and f/7.1, ISO200

 

Tanbark Borer

Tanbark Borer

Phymatodes testaceus, longhorn beetle (Cerambycidae)
Size: 16 mm

This year I encountered this beautiful Cerambycid several times. Typically you'll find this species on the underside of large oak logs during warm summer days, but this one was nicely perched on this lichen-covered branch early in the morning – practically begging to be photographed. It looks pristine with every little hair intact and vivid coloration so I'm guessing it's a newly hatched specimen. It's a variable species in terms of coloration but this is probably the most common variety.

Stacked from 45 natural light exposures in Zerene Stacker.

Sony NEX-7, Sigma 180/3.5 @ 1/8s, f/7,1, ISO100

Full Spectrum Wasp

Full Spectrum Wasp

Holopyga cf. generosa, Cuckoo wasp
Size: 7 mm

These little wasps are always a delight to find. Their colors are truly astonishing.

This one proved to be a bit of a challange to get a successful stacking sequence of and I ended up having to manually combine the results from two similar but separate stacking sequences. One was 24 exposures @ 1/20, f/5.6, ISO100. The other was 25 exposures @ 1/15, f/7.1, ISO200.

Sony NEX-7, Canon MP-E65

Aromia Sunrise II

Aromia Sunrise II

Aromia moschata, Musk beetle
Size: 30 mm

This is the musk beetle form the last post shot from a different angle. I was able to turn the entire perch 120°, so all that really changed was the angle of the light – but that obviously makes a huge difference!

Stacked from 17 exposures in Zerene Stacker.

Canon 5DmkII, Sigma 180/3.5 @ 0.4s, f/11, ISO100

Aromia Sunrise

Aromia Sunrise

Aromia moschata, Musk beetle
Size: 30 mm

Arguably one of the most beautiful beetles in Europe. In this shot you can't see the metallic coloration but I think the silhuette is quite elegant as well.

I found this specimen nicely perched on this Tanacetum (tancy) an early morning in July. As I was experimenting with different angles my liveview display suddenly flashed white and as I adjusted the exposure I saw this as my lens caught a thin ray of the rising sun, filtered through the trees and vegetation in the background. So, the bright patch is a large out of focus highlight caused by the wide aperture setting.

I should say that I'm not at all a fan of the elaborate out of focus highlights celebrated in some circles. But I liked the jagged texture caused by the light being filtered through vegetation here.

Single shot at f/4.5 except for the antennae which were manually stacked from two additional exposures.

Canon 5DmkII, Sigma 180/3.5 @ f/4.5, 1/60s, ISO100

Baby Crab Spider

Baby Crab Spider

A tiny crab spiderling Misumena vatia, hiding on a Knautia arvensis flower.

And as a bonus: a mating couple of six-spot burnets, Zygaena filipendulae, 17 mm.

Oh, those smug lepidopterans – always trying to steal the show! I'm simply not encouraging that.

Stacked from 37 natural light exposures shot on a breezy morning in late July.

Canon 5DmkII, Sigma 180/3.5 @ 0.8s, f/10, ISO100