The Best of Things Biological, 2013
December 30, 2013 by allthingsbiological
Alex Wild (Myrmecos) and Ted MacRae (Beetles in the Bush) are well known entomologists who blog regarding various arthropods they encounter throughout the year. These exceptional ambassadors for the six- and eight-legged end each blogging year with a “Best of …” set of photographs that stand out personally for each of them.
Following Alex and Ted’s lead, I’m doing the same thing. I’ve selected a dozen shots that will hopefully allow others to experience some of what I experienced this year on the other side of the lens. Here we go. Thanks for reading!
Digger bee (Diadasia sp) at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, Tucson, AZ, home base of the 2013 Invertebrates in Education and Conference. Next year’s conference location has not yet been established, though it will take place in Arizona from July 22-26.
Close-up of a native pollinator, the squash bee (Peponapis pruinosa), at work inside a squash blossom in our backyard, taken as part of a three day photography challenege.
A more detailed entry can be found at “Anatomy of an intentional macrophoto shoot”.
American kestrel fledgling (Falco sparverius) photographed while biking through downtown Denver with my wife. I biked right by it and didn’t see it. I had never seen those markings as cryptic before, but they certainly are! Photo taken using my new little Canon SX 280 HS point and shoot, which takes surprisingly good macro as well as pictures at a distance.
Squash bugs (Anasa tristis) hatching on the underside of one of our butternut squash plants. There is a beauty in this species, which seems to become my mortal enemy each summer.
Canyon tree frog (Hyla arenicolor) photographed in the Sonoran Desert during the 2013 Invertebrates in Education and Conservation Conference. Tree frogs and deserts just never seem to go together, but I love these cryptically colored critters!
While photographing the locust borer (Megacyllene robiniae) at Kickapoo State Park, the cicada killer swooped in, grabbed it, and took off, leaving me this memorable image.
Male red phase Chilean rose tarantula (Grammostola rosea) with prey. I have to have a spider somewhere in this set of pictures!
This parody of a human birth announcement placed second in the 2013 American Tarantula Society “Celebrate the Day!” photography contest. The $300 Ken the Bug Guy gift certificate led to the addition of a new tarantula species, scorpions, and solifugids. The original entry, including accompanying narrative, can be found at “A (somewhat goofy) collaborative photo competition entry“.
Fall image showing the last generation of this year’s insects prior to our first frost. Lots of fermenting fruit on the ground, so the inebriated insects were REALLY slow. This apple’s diversity was typical of the open fruit on the ground. The female wasp at the 2 o’clock position, if you think of the picture as the face of a clock, was pushing the others away from the area in which she was eating. She had just pushed away the calliphorids (iridescent green flies), been moderately successful at pushing away the chrysomelid (black spotted, green beetle), had caused the sarchophagid (gray and black striped fly) to re-orient so that it was no longer approaching her head-on, and had her sights set on the smaller syrphid (the smaller of the two yellow and black-striped bee mimicking flies) at the time of the photo. The wasp was A LOT more successful at moving bees and other wasps off the apple. The flies were much more persistent.
Syrphid feeding on some of the windfall apples I crushed while bringing in apples the prior weekend.
Juvenile emperor scorpion (Pandinus imperator) over its freshly shed exoskeleton. The original entry, and a number of additional pre- and post-molt photos, can be accessed at “Emperor scorpion (Pandinus imperator) molt“. Double-click the image to find the mite!