Aardman Studios makes the point that some pest control efforts are more trouble than they’re worth: You may laugh, but this stuff happens.
Our front porch has been host to some shiny black Virginia carpenter bees. Earlier this year a couple females chewed burrows in the woodwork in which to store pollen and lay eggs. I had been keeping my eye on the nests to see if I might be able to catch an emerging young bee. This [...]
During the day our showy goldenrod (Solidago speciosa) is visited by the usual sun-loving suspects: bumble bees, sweat bees, hover flies, butterflies, and so on. I was curious about what happens after dark, though, so I just popped out to have a look. It’s nearly as active at night, too, but with a different set [...]
I recently had the opportunity to photograph one of the odder spectacles among insects: a common house fly emerging from its puparium using a giant inflatable head. What’s deal with this strange behavior? Many millions of years ago, some flies figured out an ingenious way to protect their delicate developing pupae. Instead of shedding their [...]
My commercial gallery now has flies! Diptera photographs at alexanderwild.com I feel sort of embarassed at how few fly images I have, considering the importance of the group. That’s something I’ll try to remedy as we get into this summer’s photography season.
photo details: Canon 65mm MP-E 1-5x macro lens on a Canon EOS 20D ISO 100, f/13, 1/250 sec, flash diffused through tracing paper
Rhagoletis fruit flies mating, Arizona photo details: Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon EOS 20D ISO 200, f/11, 1/200 sec, backlit by handheld strobe.
Nosodendron californicum – Wounded Tree Beetle California, USA From the Department of Really Obscure Insects, here’s a beetle that few non-specialists will recognize. Nosodendron inhabits the rotting tissue of long-festering tree wounds. These beetles are not rare so much as specialized to an environment where few entomologists think to look. If you can spot [...]
Fruit flies are a family, Tephritidae, containing about 5,000 species of often strikingly colored insects. As the name implies, these flies are frugivores. Many, such as the mediterranean fruit fly, are agricultural pests. Drosophila melanogaster, the insect that has been so important in genetic research, is not a true fruit fly. Drosophila is a member [...]